Widespread distrust of white fella tribunals

Widespread distrust of white fella tribunals

Credit:llustration: Cathy Wilcox

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Widespread distrust of white fella tribunals

Jeff Kennett, have you considered that the Aboriginal players who raised awareness about their alleged atrocious treatment at Hawthorn felt that the Phil Egan inquiry was the first real and non-threatening opportunity for them to do so? For you to say it was disappointing that they spoke out reflects your lack of understanding of our deeply routed apprehension and distrust of white fella tribunals and closed offices that mostly determine our future.

Did you ever consider that the individuals you are casting aspersions upon may have made attempts to speak with trusted individuals at the club previously but to no avail? Or felt threatened to do so?
Yes, Jeff, in the past we were conditioned to be subservient. Take a little time to read Richard Franklin’s theory of transgenerational trauma or Professor Judy Atkinson’s Trauma Trails about the control and abuse that has taken place for Aboriginal communities since early settlement and the controls that took place for Aboriginal people, Australia-wide. Keep Jacky in his place!

That may be considered “the past” but little has changed for Aboriginal people today. Your attempt to impose a white fella point of view without knowing all the facts confirms your “mouth from the south” tagline. So why not keep that lip buttoned until we have the facts rather than stirring up and preempting decisions that will be made by others.
Aunty Marlene Burchill, Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung, Waveroo woman, North Carlton

Too many coaches think life is only about football

It is worth Alastair Clarkson noting (along with others at Hawthorn Football Club and the league generally) that there is a significant difference between influencing and controlling.

It is to be hoped that all coaches have a positive influence on their players – but do not control their lives. AFL coaches particularly think that all there is to life is football. Bear in mind that it is just a game. There are other, and more important, things in one’s life. Family is one – and the Indigenous players obviously thought that that life priority was being taken from them to satisfy others’ egos.
Ian Anderson, Maldon

Testing allegations of players and their partners

The time has come in the so-called Hawthorn scandal to let whatever investigative processes are used to do their work. This is to test the allegations made by former players and their partners against certain club officials. When they make their findings, work can be done to help overcome, and stop, racism in the AFL.

I hope the media will stop its speculations as these are not helpful to all parties involved. We have heard, ad nauseam, the basis of the allegations and the denials of those accused. Comments by former players and others muddy the situation. We have a judicial system to assist all concerned. Just let it do its work. The media cannot assist in this situation.
Denis Ryan, Belmont

Ensuring that similar claims aren’t raised again

Jeff Kennett’s criticism of the Indigenous former players who spoke to the media about their alleged treatment at Hawthorn reveals both a lack of understanding of, and his enmeshment in, that club’s power dynamics and culture. All power to the complainants and the official bodies investigating their alleged grievances for a constructive outcome which ensures such allegations never again need stem from an AFL club.
Jennifer Gerrand, Carlton North

Investigations will seek truth of players’ claims

Jeff Kennett’s claim that the public naming of Hawthorn personnel accused of mistreatment is unfair does not stack up, and I write as a Hawks member. People are named and accused of misdeeds, crimes et al every day. An investigation or trial then seeks the truth.
Geoff Schmidt, Richmond


A more diverse approach

The latest allegations of racism against First Nations players yet again highlights Australia’s entrenched systemic oppression. Promoting First Nations players to leadership positions and ensuring media commentary is more culturally and gender diverse would be one step in the right direction.
Sarah Tartakover, Yarraville

Unfair fear and division

I welcome the overdue plan to repatriate Australian women and their children from Syrian refugee camps (The Age, 3/10). For more than three years, they have been living under horrendous conditions that most of us could not begin to imagine.

However, some of the language in the article reflected the politics of fear and division that has become entwined with so many discussions about refugees. Example include Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil’s concerns about “the protection of Australians and Australian national security”, and comments about a ‴⁣⁣deradicalisation of children” and charging adults with “terrorism offences”. Really?

What about concerns for the physical and mental health of these families and strategies to help them to adjust to a life that we all take for granted? Now that would reflect a fair deal for refugees.
Maryanne Barclay, Frankston South

Urgent need of assistance

At last, an Australian government is planning to repatriate Australian women and their children trapped in a Syrian refugee camp following the civil wars in Iraq and Syria.

The women may (or may not) have breached Australian laws concerning travel to war zones and associating with suspected or known terrorists. Australian legal processes should examine and act on any such allegations, but remind me, what crimes have the children committed?

Shame on the previous government for its heartless inaction and abandonment of Australian citizens in desperate need of assistance.
Keith Rees, Travancore

The fate of the children

Unsurprisingly former home affairs minister Karen Andrews is still opposed to repatriating 20 Australian women and their 40 children. Presumably she does not care what the future holds for them if they are left in the camp.
No apparent concern for the fate of the children in a hostile region, no moral responsibility to protect them or their mothers. I expect the opposition is compelled to highlight all points of difference with the government even if, ironically, it reinforces the reasons why it is now the opposition.
Dennis Richards, Cockatoo

I voted yes, it’s all mine

I have declared that the Kremlin is mine and I have held a referendum to confirm this, with me the sole voter. The return was 100per cent. I am waiting for Vladimir Putin’s acceptance. And waiting. And waiting.
Barrie Bales, Woorinen North

Putting politics first

Dan Andrews and Victoria’s health minister did not seek advice from the state’s chief health officer ahead of the decision by national cabinet to scrap mandatory COVID-19 isolation. What is worse? Not seeking advice or ignoring it? Clearly, not seeking advice was a politically safer bet.
Peter Gourlay, Elwood

Relax, it’s all over

Now that we are over the pandemic and back to normal, I think I will take a similar proportionate response to my remaining malignant tumour and learn to live with it. After all, I am over the inconvenience, pain and expense of surgeries, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Christine Morris, Hoppers Crossing

Brave and insightful

To the 14-year-old, how lucky we are that you wrote “I’m 14, and I tried to suicide” (Comment, 10/1.) Your honesty and truth will save the lives of others. To hear that someone else has experienced the pain you went through helps the many young people struggling to keep their head above water. Anorexia adds an extra level of cruelty you do not need.

You are brave, caring and insightful, and a tear wells up in me as I feel the impact of your words. Although I am 50 years older than you, almost all of what you share comforts and inspires me. Like so many others, I have travelled your journey and I reaffirm the 12 facts that you wished you knew before attempting suicide.
Brian Moran, Ivanhoe

Tell our King to attend

So British Prime Minister Liz Truss has stopped the British King from going to next month’s United Nations climate change summit (World, 3/10). Perhaps Prime Minister Anthony Albanese could request that the King of Australia goes instead.
Carolyn Cliff, Armadale

Our long-term tradition

During his time on the royal backbenches, Charles III has demonstrated values, concerns and philosophical insight many Australians agree with and are inspired by. This is a strong argument for having his face on our new $5 note. Sure, he is a foreign head of state. This reflects a significant part of our history. It also affirms our system of government. This justifies the continued tradition of having the reigning monarch’s face on our money.
Pippa Haslem, Invermay, Tas

Our once great Show

I have been to the Melbourne Royal Show since the early fifties and have seen a gradual decline (The Age, 1/10). What happened to the displays of apples for example, so we could see the best of what was being grown and not be dependent on bulk, commercial supplies?

There used to be sample bags with little packets of useful products, but now they are either bulk confectionery or trashy products. There used to be real farmers and the spectacular event was the grand parade. City children learnt where our food came from but much of the food on sale this year was international.

There is no longer a government pavilion where we learnt about the work of different departments. Our First Nations’ culture was absent except from one food stall. Sadly, there is very little about the Show that is distinctively Melbourne or Australian.
Norman Pollack, Armadale

The real country shows

If you want to see a good agricultural and pastoral show then come to Yarrawonga next year. Or any rural town which still runs a show. Last week we had a massive show of all different types of sheep which you could touch and smell, some having their fleece being carefully removed, or a shed full of fleeces already removed.

There were horse events with brave young women riding enormous horses. We had the man with his snakes, owls and koalas: you could get wrapped up in a python if you liked, or touch the koala and then wash your hands.
Wood chopping. Or see me drive a heritage Field Marshall tractor in the grand parade. A very good side show alley. Animals and excited children galore. Too much to see and do. Come to the country to see farming and fun.
Clyde Ronan, Yarrawonga

Come clean on revenue

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association seemed proud that the LNG export sector will pay $9billion more taxes and royalties in 2022-23 than the previous financial year when it paid $4.8billion. But strangely, it was “unable to say what proportion of revenue the $14billion represented”. Unable, or unwilling? Maybe it would be embarrassed by the discrepancy.
Jill Baird, North Melbourne

A matter of respect

Re Genevieve Novak’s article on the #MeToo backlash (Comment, 1/10/). It serves us all well to think before we make comments on events we know nothing about. It is all very well to make judgments based on media articles, but when we give it some serious thought, why do we feel the need to pass on our opinions around the “water cooler”? It’s not just women, but also men, who suffer at the hands of the public, too quick to judge.

Maybe if we all remembered to be kind, and to think before we speak, the world would be a more respectful place. After all, respect is the most important word.
Wendy Daniels, Hawthorn

Nine very dark years

Sean Kelly (Comment, 3/10), given that Scott Morrison was prime minister for little more than a term, I find it hard to accept there was a “Morrison era”. However, if we include the last nine years, this period could be referred to as the “era of incompetence”. For our sakes, let us hope it is over.
Stewart King, Carnegie

Optus’ lack of sincerity

The recent full-page “apology” from Optus reads more like advertisements written by its marketing team. It uses the words “we” and ’our” with no mention of “I” or “me”, and there is no signatory. True leaders speak in plural terms when things are going well, and “I” or “me” when things are going poorly.

For me to view it as an apology, it would say “I am deeply sorry” and “I know this is devastating”, and be signed off by the CEO of Optus Australia – ie, the most senior person taking responsibility. As an Optus customer, I am now even more disappointed and frustrated than before I read this “advertisement”.
Mark Thomson, Beaumaris

Banal and very rude

Your correspondent – “It was just a bit of fun” (Letters, 28/9) – says that Geelong Football Club players who dressed up as seniors for their Mad Monday celebrations “risk the wrath of the po-faced PC brigade”. No, that banal behaviour was out of date and unappealing to anyone with good manners and a lack of ignorance, and even during the past Tory government.
Victoria Watts, Brighton

Learn from UK’s meltdown

When the British government added tax cuts for the rich to existing record levels of government debt, the result was a very dangerous financial sector meltdown. It is time for Peter Dutton to speak out on delusionary economic theories and for Anthony Albanese to abandon the stage 3 tax cuts.
Neil Hauxwell, Moe


Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding

IS families

After hanging on through the horrors they’ve experienced, these women and children may prove to be exemplary citizens.
Meg McPherson, Brighton

Karen Andrews, ″⁣these individuals″⁣ are vulnerable women and children living in appalling conditions. Shame.
Sonja Howell, Brighton

Thank goodness the government has come to its senses and will bring home the families in Syria. Shame on Morrison and Payne.
Rita Reid, Port Melbourne

Australia should think carefully about bringing them back from Syria. They’ve been there for more than three years and we don’t know what sort of people they are.
Diana Goetz, Mornington

I support the rescue plan for the families in Syria but where is the plan to rescue Julian Assange from the United Kingdom?
Mary Fenelon, Doncaster East


Our PM should encourage the King of Australia to attend the UN climate change summit.
Sean McGinn, Clifton Beach, Qld

Those questioning the teal independents’ raison d’être reinforced what us girls know: a woman’s place is in the house, Parliament House.
Jenny Bone, Surrey Hills

Politicians without medical degrees giving medical advice on COVID-19? Ahem.
Nina Wellington Iser, Hawthorn


Optus Yes to Optus No.
Graeme Walters, Mount Waverley

Mr Musk, does your humanoid robot make a decent cup of tea?
Kay Gibson, Watsonia North

Putin successfully ran referenda in Ukraine. Now he can run one on reunification in Taiwan.
David Ginsbourg, East Bentleigh

It says a lot for the ABC news that more than 170 people die at a soccer match in Indonesia and the lead story is the Hawthorn Football Club.
Lou Ferrari, Richmond

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