Reconciliation Australia

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John Butler

John Butler’s profile can be accessed

Interview Transcript

What are some of the issues involved?

The fact that there are Indigenous people living in third world conditions in this country, the fact that our history hasn’t truly been acknowledged. The invasion and the colonisation of this country and the Indigenous people of this country haven’t really been given their due respect and a simple sorry. All those things they just build up over time over and over and over and over until no one can ignore it anymore. You can’t ignore the fact that the air that we breathe isn’t as good as it use to be. You can’t ignore the fact that our freedom has been taken, stripped away from us. As we speak there’s illegal wars, illegal presidents, you name it. There comes a time where you can’t sit back anymore and pretend that it’s not happening. It seems to be what’s happening more and more. There’s always people who have been aware of it and haven’t been asleep but there’s more and more people that are realising that the discomfort of ignoring it is too hard to bear.

How can we help close that gap?

Well I think for starters the acknowledgment of history and education, like true history. You can’t move forward without truly acknowledging what happened in the past ( pause) the stolen generation, the invasion, the genocide in Tasmania. If we can’t acknowledge those things and look back and just acknowledge it (pause) we don’t have to make it better ‘cos it will never be better. Just acknowledge it that is one way we will move forward. Because you can’t move forward unless you in some way come to terms with what happened, you can’t always be in denial. So reconciliation for one and equality is another one. The fact that we wouldn’t allow certain things that happen within the inner city and in whiter neighbourhoods whether it be with our schooling or our medication but we seem to allow that within remote communities, in Indigenous communities. We need a sense of real equality. As I said it all starts from acknowledgement so that you can acknowledge the original keepers of this land.

How’s it going folks my names John Butler, reconcile and we can be the difference.

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