The Catholic Answer
Q: “Do you believe colonisation continues to have an impact on some Indigenous Australians?”
A positive impact, absolutely. I mean, now we have running water, readily available food. Everything that my grandfather had when he was growing up, when he first met white fellas in his adolescence, we now have. Otherwise he would have had to live off the land… Aboriginal Australians, many of us, have the same opportunities as all other Australians and probably have one of the greatest systems in the world – in terms of a democratic structure – in comparison to other countries. It is why migrants flock to Australia, to call Australia home, because the opportunity exists for all Australians. But if we keep telling Aboriginal people they are victims, we are effectively removing their agency and giving them the expectation that someone else is responsible for their lives. That is the worst possible thing you can do to any human being, to tell them that they are a victim without agency. And that is what I refuse to do.
– Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians Jacinta Price at the National Press Club today
It is worth noting… that these minority groups, in reaction, perhaps, to the enforced hardships of their present situation, or to historical circumstances, frequently tend to magnify unduly characteristics proper to their own people. They even rate them above those human values which are common to all mankind, as though the good of the entire human family should subserve the interests of their own particular groups. A more reasonable attitude for such people would be to recognise the advantages, too, which accrue to them from their own special situation. They should realise that their constant association with a people steeped in a different civilisation from their own has no small part to play in the development of their own particular genius and spirit. Little by little they can absorb into their very being those virtues which characterise the other nation. But for this to happen these minority groups must enter into some kind of association with the people in whose midst they are living, and learn to share their customs and way of life. It will never happen if they sow seeds of disaffection which can only produce a harvest of evils, stifling the political development of nations.
– Saint John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, April 1963. The beloved pope didn’t like apartheid either
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