CULTURE: The Wagga land council understood the spiritual significance of the Wiradjuri Regional Aboriginal Land Council site.Be part of solution, not part of the problemIf Jason Jolley is prepared to look beyond the façade of the Wagga Wagga LocalAboriginal Land Council, he will quickly learn how land and connection is the key tohealing our young people (“Board has lost touch with city’s Indigenous issues”,December 2).
The Wagga Wagga Local Aboriginal Land Council is more than just a physicalbuilding.
It has long been a meeting place for Wiradjuri people and is the spiritualhome of our Land Rights legends.
As a former Chair of the disbanded Wiradjuri Regional Aboriginal Land Council, I amwell-aware of the significance of that place to Aboriginal people in the region.
At the last meeting of the Wiradjuri Regional Aboriginal Land Council, I rememberwalking away from that building feeling as though we had lost a sense of belongingand community.
But the Wagga Wagga Local Aboriginal Land Council understood the cultural andspiritual significance of the land and put their heart and soul into revitalising the siteas a youth and community hub informed by history and culture.
CEO Lorraine Lyons has an open-door policy and anyone who steps inside thebuilding cannot help but be inspired by the memory of past Land Rights legends andthe vision the Local Aboriginal Land Council has for young Aboriginal people.
Lorraine Lyons is a passionate member of our community who came to the WaggaWagga Local Aboriginal Land Council with a strong track record in communityhousing.
She is not someone to turn her back on people in need, which makes ill-informedand personal attacks on her and the Wagga Wagga Local Aboriginal Land Councilso dispiriting.
Despite limited funding and with just two staff members to deliver programs andservices to members and the community, Wagga Wagga Local Aboriginal LandCouncil has established a number of initiatives including the BoxingCentre to keep our youth engaged and on a pathway to education.
Instead of negatively sniping from the sidelines, James Jolley should be a part of thesolution and support the Wagga Wagga Local Aboriginal Land Council’s positiveplans to use land, identity and culture to heal our young people.
Cr Craig Cromelin
NSW Aboriginal Land Council
Councillor for Wiradjuri Region
We have lost our freedom while dosing on the couchAshraf Fayadh, a Palestinian poet accused of renouncing Islam, was recently sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia. He has no legal representation.
Twenty-sevenmembers of a minor Islamic breakaway group within Islam are also awaiting probable death sentence in Sudan.
The prophet Muhammad favoured ruthless punishments –including amputations and death –for so-called apostasy.
So is Islam the outstanding example of suppression of freedom of thought?
No, there are others.
For example, see recent reports of death-for-conversion-away-from-Hinduism in modern India.
And also Tasmania….
Yes, Tasmania, where at this very moment the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart is looking at being dragged through an “anti-discrimination” tribunal for the crime of distributing to Catholic school parents a document explaining the Catholic understanding of marriage.
Australians tend to think of our culture being one of freedom of expression.
That changed a while ago while most of us were dosing in front of our TV set.
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