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Government's Expo Pavilion a Bicentennial blitz of Aboriginal culture - a response of guilt

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CHRIS MILES MHR TAS. No. 004 311333 03,05,18 15:00 P.02



May 5 t h , 1988

Chris Miles, Shadow Minister for Aboriginal A f f a i r s , today said that the Federal Government's Expo Pavilion was a

Bicentennial blitz of Aboriginal culture - a response of

guilt from a Government which has shown no interest in

long-term promotion of Aboriginal culture.

'Visitors to our Expo Pavilion could be forgiven for

thinking that the only things that Australia has to offer

are sport and Aboriginal c u l t u r e .'

Mr Miles said that he was concerned that 'Australians could

well resent this unbalanced presentation of their nation's life and it could well have a negative impact on public

acceptance of our indigenous c u l t u r e .'

' From a number of comments that I have received from people

who have visited the Australian P a v i l i o n , I understand that the Aboriginal presentation is both entertaining and

professional. Nevertheless, the lack of acknowledgement of Australian achievements such as agricultural inn o v a t i o n s , technological inventions and advances in medical science, confirms many Australians' view that the G o v e r n m e n t , through

generating a sense of g u i l t , has lost a sense of b a l a n c e . '

' The Government has shown a distinct lack of interes t in

long-term promotion of Aboriginal culture. It has

effectively shelved the Gallery of Aboriginal Australia.'

' The Fraser Government conceived of the Gallery as a

permanent exhibition of Aboriginal c u l t u r e , an important resource promoting an appreciation of Aboriginal culture and understanding between Aboriginal and other A u s t r a l i a n s . It

was not to.-' be a fringe activity but an integral component of the National Museum of Australia, which in turn was to be a

showcase of Australian life.'

' The Government should recognise the importance of

preserving and promoting Aboriginal culture - not as a

Bicentennial sideshow - but as an integral element of our

national cultural life.'

CONTACT t Stephen Wade (004) 31 1333 or (004) 31 1380