australia

Julia Gillard has been sworn in as Australia’s first female Prime Minister after ousting Kevin Rudd in an unopposed Labor leadership battle. ABC explains that voters lost faith in Rudd after a series of bungles and backflips, including the shelving of the emissions trading scheme.

Slow TV profiles the outgoing Prime Minister in a superb conversation in which David Marr talks to Robert Manne about Rudd’s political journey.

The day’s incredible and incredulous news is reviewed in depth on Late Night Live and explored by the vox populi in Australia Talks.

What I’ll remember best is The Apology, a wonderful oration that said sorry to Australia’s Aboriginal peoples for the way the continent was colonized.

That said, words were not followed by integrated actions. A number of Aboriginal leaders have expressed frustration at the lack of follow-through.

In the field of tourism the offices of Aboriginal Tourism Australia were closed and Indigenous Tourism Australia has yet to hit its stride. There is no national policy promoting indigenous tourism despite the fact that numerous studies are showing that Australians themselves want their kids to learn about Aboriginal Australia.

That the emissions trading scheme failed is understandable given business as usual politics. I’d argue that it was also poorly articulated and too complicated for people to follow. Kudos to Bush Telegraph in particular for explaining the system as well as it could.

Foreigners, like myself, pay attention to Australia from afar, with a mix of admiration and confusion. For the next few weeks we will likely be more befuddled than ever. It will be worth the time to watch the transition and see how politics play out.

The Apology

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One Response to australia

  1. Ronda Green says:

    On the note about parents wanting their children to learn about Indigenous culture:
    Back in 1987, I took my 11-year-old daughter traveling through the Canadian Rockies, Yosemite, Arizona, New Mexico, Minnesota and other places, and was impressed by the number of opportunities there were to meet the local Indigenus people and learn something about their culture, whereas we had not had such opportunity back here in Australia. Later we finally managed to take both our children to one Aboriginal-led tour north of Cairns and another at Uluru but it was only in recent years that anything became available near Brisbane or the Gold Coast, and there’s still not very much.
    There is a little more education on Aboriginal history and culture in Australian schools now than when I was at school myself (the attitude of teachers then seemed to be it was a race that was dying out, and that this was a pity but that’s the way things were and apparently not worth learning much about). However, despite the advances that have been made since then there is still tremendous scope for improvement.

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