Domestic violence v terrorism
Laurie Patton writes: Re. “Domestic violence is more of a threat than terrorism” (yesterday). Yes, far more Australians were affected by domestic violence last year than by terrorism. Imagine what we could do to deal with domestic violence with the $300 million industry costs plus the unknown but large agency costs of the Data Retention Act, a scheme that overseas experience shows is of limited value and is seen as a threat to long standing privacy protection rights.
The frontier wars
Judy Holden writes: Re. “Why you won’t find the frontier wars at the War Memorial” (yesterday). I think he makes a very good point. I was very disappointed about 15 years ago when I asked an official at the War Memorial where the Aboriginal Services records were displayed. They were apparently in some basement or other. I asked when they would be put on display and was told they were working on it.
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If they have really set the history of Aboriginal service men and women on display that is a great outcome and long overdue. However, the conflicts between Aboriginal and white settlers probably does not come under a strict definition of war. I think the Australian Museum would be a very good place to acknowledge this period of our collective history. What a good job that Aboriginal Curator that John Howard got rid of would have done with such a display. I think Brendan Nelson has a very good understanding about both categories of history.
Gary Byron writes: Brendan Nelson is absolutely correct. That is not to justify in any way the dreadful things that occurred. However, the narrative needs to be presented (and should be presented) in the correct context and not lost in the different dynamics of “war” as usually understood. The history of conflicts and relations between European settlers and indigenous Australians include behaviour and events which constitute a shameful part of our nations narrative. We should acknowledge these things in their own right and for what they were. They should stand alone and not be swamped by the wider, and arguably more romantic and comfortable narrative of Australians at war. Aboriginal Australians are entitled to nothing less.