Congratulations to those who have put into the Festival of Light. I sincerely hope that it encourages the treasuring and preservation of First Australian culture, as well as a better understanding by non-Aboriginal people of how valuable this heritage is to the nation.
I am aware that some First Australians see the event as an inappropriate one that does harm to Aboriginal heritage, tradition and belief and I hope that such proves not to be the case.
I am not a First Australian and perhaps have no right to comment at all. Certainly, I will be prone to many of the mistakes that any outsider might make when commenting on another culture, let alone differences of those within that culture.
I can only hope that those who feel unhappy, wronged or are opposed to the festival will accept that my own feelings are sincere and offered with respect. I hope that this event is an honest indigenous initiative and not a cynical use of indigenous art and tradition made solely to generate tourist dollars. I would be strongly opposed to such a motivation.
My support is based on a belief that this land still belongs to the First Australians and that they have never ceded sovereignty over it. I abhor the treatment that the First Australians have suffered at the hands of the British invaders and subsequent descendants and immigrants. I am ashamed that Cook was born and lived only a few miles from where I was born and raised. I am ashamed that the British continue to support a monarchy that committed such perfidy and that the colonial governments and the federal governments have not redressed the wrongs perpetrated on the First Australians in the past, nor those that continue today.
However, I am just one, white, nobody who does not wish to patronise or suggest that I can know or feel or understand the history of First Australian experiences since the invasion. I can only attempt to make recompense in some tiny way for the crimes of my ancestors by attempting to encourage a different culture across this nation and one that works in harmony with that of the First Australians, rather than seeking to subvert or deny it.
The sooner that indecent and hypocritical commemorations such as Australia Day are dispensed with, and the monuments to British governors and such, the sooner we may be able to achieve that harmony.