Closing The Gap

Regarding the historic Apology, there has been a kind of byline to it, or phrase often used, in the political rhetoric and media — “Closing the Gap” — which I take to mean that the Government and the powers-that-be would like to close the gap that exists on matters of education, employment, economic and health standards of the Aboriginals (indigenes of Australia) as compared to that of the average, mainstream, non-Aboriginal, Australian.

Assimilate, Close The Gap

In my view, this really implies or suggests that — although well-intended perhaps — closing the gap must also result in becoming more like the dominant-majority cultural group, including its values, beliefs, indocrination (education) — and in the doing, would that not then mean less differences, culturally? Resulting in lots of Westernised, homogenised, mono-culture and less culturally different or unique Aboriginal Australians? More like “us” and less like them? Lots more white-blakfellas, — with similar goals, aspirations, employment opportunities, access, career paths, materialism, capitalism, economic centred-culture and rationale.

Less traditional, or culturally diverse, more contemporary, mainstream.

What will be the real cost to the the future of the survival and nurturing of “Aboriginal culture” — given that it is actually a more egalitarian, spiritually-centred, less hierarchical, less competitive → more complimentary and cooperative culture? More natural alternative, less normal. What price survival? What cost, and what really is lost, to all of us?

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4 thoughts on “Closing The Gap

  1. Yes, Yes, and yes… I’m Anglo-saxon but have lived with your culture as a child and read heaps. I have found its only been the last 8-10 years or so that books written by Aboriginal people have been more available, you need to teach us because most of us just don’t know.

    You can read, here, what I wrote on Sorry Day, 13 Feb 2008

  2. Djubba
    As long as people still respect culture, language and identity, as well as self determination and freedom, I think closing the gap is admirable. Generally speaking, wanting health among people is a good thing. But I speak as a mostly white Aussie. I’m a smoker, so I get the shits with the government being the nanny state and trying to control me as well. But I agree that Aboriginal culture and identity is worth keeping, I also think Aboriginal people should have the same access to health care as every other Aussie…IF they want it.

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