Aboriginal acknowledgement scrapped

2011-05-19 12:05
Melbourne - The government of the Australian state of Victoria on Thursday scrapped its policy of forcing ministers to acknowledge traditional Aboriginal landowners at public events in a move that sparked criticism.

Premier Ted Baillieu said it was too politically correct and should no longer be compulsory.

"I am not seeking to be provocative, nothing has changed in particular in that regard," he told ABC Radio.

"We still encourage the welcome ceremony. I've simply said that ministers should respect indigenous communities and they should address these issues where appropriate.

"That's what I do, they need to use their judgment about these things."

The traditional acknowledgement recognises that Australia has an ancient Aboriginal history and complex ownership and land stewardship systems stretching back thousands of years.

Wiped off the map

Wurundjeri elder Di Kerr said it was "common courtesy" to acknowledge the traditional landowners at official events.

"They've really wiped us off the map, so to speak, by not acknowledging traditional owners," she told reporters.

"But I would really prefer that if anyone is going to acknowledge anyone, then they must do it with heart and good intentions."

Steve Bracks, a former Victorian premier, said the move would set back relations with the indigenous population.

"The thousands and thousands of times I started my speech with an Aboriginal welcome I always felt very strongly about it and never ever did I feel it was a wooden or rote presentation," he said.

"By saying it is being removed is effectively setting up a debate which I think will set us back."

Aborigines are Australia's first inhabitants with cultures stretching back tens of thousands of years. They have gone from numbering about one million at white settlement to just 470 000 - less than 2% of the population.

Read more on:    australia

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.