10th August 2010

10th August 2010

OPEN LETTER by Dennis Eggington

CEO Aboriginal Legal Service of WA

2010 National NAIDOC ‘Person of the Year’

(In the lead up to Saturday’s 2010 Federal Election)

Regardless of which Party is elected I hope that the government has a commitment to equity in the true sense of the word.

I want to see an Australia that can open both its head and its heart to difficult issues and walk an equitable path.

I want to see an Australia where every Indigenous kid can aspire to what every other kid takes for granted.

An Australia where our children are no longer seen as exceptional if they complete their secondary education. An Australia, where it is unacceptable for people to be denied food, shelter, safety, health, education, or a future, regardless of who they are.

I want to see a government that is rights driven rather than poll driven.

A government prepared to do what’s right rather than what’s popular.

A government that engages honestly, ethically and respectfully with both Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians.

A government that honours the struggle of asylum seekers and validates their pain and suffering rather than adding to it through incarceration.

I want to see an Australian government that recognises and respects the sovereignty of our First Nations people.

For it is only then that Australia can honestly engage with other countries as an authentic ethical entity.

I want to see an Australia that embraces and nurtures the values of mutual respect, ethical engagement and affirmation of humanity.

When we achieve such a government leading such a country we can then all share the pride of saying Australia is a lucky country.

A country where a fair go is given to all, regardless of class, culture, religion, individual needs or beliefs.

To live in such a country, we would all be truly lucky.