Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Simple Act of Kindness Brightens an Ugly Week

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Simple Act of Kindness Brightens an Ugly Week

Article excerpt

THE good, bad, ugly and plain pathetically hypocritical were all at play as they always are this week brightened by an email about giving that made my week.

There is some cynicism surrounding billionaire Twiggy Forrest's $400million donation to charities announced with much fanfare.

Indigenous communities who aren't as enamoured about what they see as his ill-informed paternalistic meddling in their affairs weren't impressed with the billionaire in the first place.

They are even less so with acts of generosity they perceive as having being funded by the rape of their land, compensation for which in Forrest's case they believe has been woefully inadequate.

Still only 50 years on from a vote where us white folk unanimously agreed they were indeed human and should be allowed to vote, incarceration rates remain off the chain, and education standards and life expectancy are out of kilter with the broader population.

And, yes, we all know this generation of Australians "didn't do it" but the killing and dispossession, removal of children and racism did happen and like the horror of war its intergenerational traumatic effects still linger.

Symbolic gestures and apologies are all well and good but genuine reconciliation requires practical application that goes beyond often well-meaning but ill-directed budget consideration.

We can either grasp the mettle, sign the treaties that should have been signed at first settlement and draw first Australians into meaningful roles in our governments or leave it to another age to show the necessary maturity, but it has to happen at some point.

For Australia to ever reach its full potential as a nation and for it to achieve a genuine national identity it needs to happen.

The week was brightened though by an on-going act of generosity that underscored billionaire Twiggy's valid point - we all should give as much as we can, whether that be cash or time.

The Sunshine Coast is undoubtedly a generous place as all manner of charities, not the least of which in recent weeks the island Charity Swim and Relay for Life, can attest.

And now we are all aware of what's been going on at a Caloundra cafe for the past nine years. …

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