This week I received my monthly email informing me as to what is on in June at the Australian War Memorial. Prominence was appropriately given to a piece acknowledging and honouring the service and sacrifice of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander soldiers. These men were respected and treated as equals by the other soldiers, but those who returned were spurned by officialdom and deprived of most of the benefits and recognition granted to other returnees.
This shameful attitude is still evident, in a more subtle but very real way, in the refusal of the current crop of bureaucrats, pressure groups and politicians to extend the coverage of the memorial to include the very real Frontier Wars that commenced in 1788 and continued right up to a time within living memory - at least 31 and maybe up to 300 Aboriginal people were killed by a police-led gang at Coniston in the NT in August 1928.
If there is to be any progress toward genuine reconciliation between us, all non-Aboriginal Australians must face up to the full truth of our appalling treatment of the original inhabitants of this continent. One way to do that would be to include an honest account of that history as part of the Australian War Memorial, instead of spending $500 million making it into an obscene showcase of military hardware. It is a memorial, not a museum, and it has a sacred duty to tell the whole truth.
James Gralton, Garran
Australia should back off
I agree with Mark Wilson (Letters, June 1) that Bradley Perrett's articles on a possible war over Taiwan were overly pessimistic. The Taiwan dispute began in 1949 when China's civil war ended.
The Communists soundly defeated the Nationalists, but the US immorally sheltered the remnants of the Nationalists in China's island province of Taiwan. Had the Nationalists won, the US would have asserted that Taiwan was part of China.
In 1950, the Korean Civil War started, and the US interfered in that too. China did not initially become involved but, frightened by the US's takeover of Taiwan, warned the US not to invade northern Korea which has a border with China. The US ignored the warning, causing China to also enter the war; this gave the US more reason to keep Taiwan out of China. Currently most of the world recognises Taiwan as part of China. The immoral US does not - not because it cares about the Taiwanese, but because it wants access to the island for strategic reasons.
Now the US claims China is preparing to soon invade Taiwan, and has persuaded its vassals, including Australia, to repeat that false claim and claims of human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and of Chinese responsibility for COVID-19. Australia should cease its aggression against China, and demand that the US do likewise.
Bob Salmond, Melba
A good start to reform
The parliamentary reforms suggested by Paul E Bowler (June 2) and Eric Hunter (June 3) would make a worthwhile start in lifting our politics and national leadership out of the 20th century, but more would be needed to achieve Mr Hunter's "united and successful multicultural country". High on my list would be the abolition of political donations to free our elected parliamentarians from the influence of big donors, multi-seat electorates to ensure better representation in Parliament of the views of all Australian citizens, and perhaps even an age or "lived experience" threshold before an individual could put their name forward for election.
And wouldn't it be satisfying to have the sentiments of the Uluru Statement from the Heart incorporated in a meaningful way?
Malcolm Robertson, Chapman
Simon Cowan claims that while wages in other countries have stagnated for decades, Australia has enjoyed "widespread wage growth in that time" ("The right can't just be a critic on critical theory", June 5). Presumably "that time" doesn't include the period from about 2012 where, according to that left-wing publication Business Insider, real wages have persistently declined and are now stagnant. Over the same period, the labour share of GDP has declined. Against this long-term background, it becomes increasingly less plausible that "pragmatic, blunt" Australians might continue to accept Cowan's premise that there is a lack of inequality and increasing social mobility.
David Roth, Kambah
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