Letter to The Editor - Giving a very small and ill-defined group unfair advantages
To The Age Rachel Perkins quotes former chief justice Murray Gleeson's claim that the dispossession of our Aboriginal tribes "underwrote the development of the nation" ("Saluting a Liberal who understands", 25/7). That is a contestable assertion. It can as truly or more truly be affirmed that the Aboriginals' loss was caused by their failure to defend their territory and that the subsequent development of Australia resulted from the knowledge, skills and efforts of the newcomers. She wants "constitutional reforms" to "empower" her people and give them their "rightful place" in "their own country". What this means for other Australians (97%) is changes for the worse giving a very small and ill-defined group unfair advantages that might lead eventually to the establishment of a separate Aboriginal nation. Any "sense of estrangement" really felt by Aboriginals needs to be addressed in a wiser fashion than constitutional change.
Nigel Jackson, Belgrave