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Tambo burial opportunity for reconciliation



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PETER NUGENT. Federal Member for AstonRELEASE SHADOW MINISTER FOR ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER AFFAIRS TAMBO BURIAL OPPORTUNITY FOR RECONCILIATION 7 .

Speaking from Townsville after attending the traditional Aboriginal burial of the remains of Tambo, Peter Nugent expressed hope that today's ceremony will prompt Australians to reflect on the history of indigenous Australians.

"While today is the final chapter of one person's history, it is also a very important and touching part of a wider history which, astonishingly, so many Australians still refuse to acknowledge.

"Regrettably, many Australians are reluctant to hear the often terrible truth of that history, let alone understand the culture and practices of these unique Australians. While speaking of truth, we should note that not all "truths" of indigenous heritage are part of an old history; many of these events actually

occurred within living memory - in our lifetime.

"When thinking about this history, many people talk about the question of guilt or blame. Guilt should not be apportioned for what has gone before but it is certainly warranted for those who not only refuse to address the inherited injustices from the past, but also refuse to even acknowledge those injustices - or worse - fail to address the real disadvantage which continues to exist today in Aboriginal communities around Australia.

Mr Nugent concluded by saying, "I hope that all those around the country with closed minds and closed ears will take note of what has happened on Palm Island today. The ceremonial burial of the remains of Tambo has .brought the

past to the attention of the nation. Hopefully, in doing this, it will partly help to right one past wrong as well as acting as a small step on the road to reconciliation of all Australians. COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

J MICAH

23 February 1994 11/94

For further information contact Peter Nugent on 03-887 3890 or 06-277 2088