Thank you for your Myall Creek Massacre apology (“The Herald has a proud history. But the truth is we failed on Myall Creek”, June 10). It is never too late to say sorry. The Myall Creek Massacre of June 10, 1838, was both a tragedy and a breakthrough moment in Australia’s history. The trial, conviction, and punishment by hanging of seven men for the massacre of women, children and old men at Myall Creek Station near Bingara was the first and regrettably the last of this colonial justice.
As a resident of Bingara for the 35 years I also thank and congratulate the former Bingara Shire
Council and the current Gwydir Shire Council for actively developing and maintaining the Myall
Creek Massacre Memorial site as a place of truth telling and of reconciliation. I also acknowledge the leadership and commitment of past Bingara citizens who persisted in having this story kept alive. There is nothing more powerful in the process of community engagement and growth than truth telling and the righting of past wrongs. Rick Hutton, Bingara
How many massacres make a genocide (“Coming to terms with our brutal history”, June 10). The International Criminal Court defines: “the crime of genocide is characterised by the specific intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial or religious group by killing its members or by other means: causing serious bodily or mental harm to members”. Our colonial history surely had the intent to eradicate the lives and culture of our First Nations people. I agree that we need to read about and own these murders as part of our history, however painful. And in this historic context, saying Yes to the Voice in parliament is a necessary step. Servaas van Beekum, Bondi
The saddest fact of the Myall Creek Massacre is that it was one of many massacres of First Nations people. More details are now emerging of other massacres. Australian history is much more than just explorers and convicts. If children were taught the real history of Australia in schools there would be more respect and acceptance of First Nations people. Judith Rostron, Killarney Heights
We must all face the horror and pain which flow from such truth-telling about the frontier wars in our nation’s past. There is no denying the blatant racism and genocidal intentions of so many of our colonial forebears. Acceptance of these terrible truths is an essential step on the road to genuine reconciliation. Rob Phillips, North Epping
It is appalling, dispiriting, disgraceful taking in the sheer inhumanity of the words and deeds of some of Australia’s white colonial usurpers. Yet in the words and deeds of our inspiring Indigenous survivors and descendants there flows hope and decency. The abhorrent past and future necessity, is why, as a convict descendant Caucasian Australian, I absolutely endorse the Yes vote for the Voice. Tony Doyle, Fairy Meadow
Writer William Faulkner is celebrated for his comment that “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” The Herald’s incredibly moving editorial captures the essence of this poignant statement. Congratulations on owning that terrible past and acknowledging its place in our present and our future. Vic Alhadeff, Kirribilli
Not enough hours to earn extra to counter rate rises
It would seem RBA governor Philip Lowe is a student of the Joe Hockey school of economics (“Not the only wrong call on interest rates: PM lashes RBA”, June 10). In 2015 Hockey reckoned first homebuyers should get a good job that pays good money. Now, Lowe suggests people struggling with increased interest payments should take on extra hours. This will probably come as a bit of a surprise to Lowe, but there are still only 24 hours in workers’ days. Col Shephard, Yamba
On behalf of my teacher colleagues, I ask Philip Lowe just how we would be able to work extra hours in these financially challenging times? We’re already at our desks an hour and a half before the first bell goes, and attend regular professional learning sessions that go for an hour after the school day ends. Then there are the parent-teacher interviews which, as this semester comes to an end, are usually held from 4 – 7pm on a number of evenings after the school day is done. Friday nights are out: that’s when our student debating competitions happen. The June long weekend is out too; it’s the perfect opportunity to get our student report comments and grades done, sorted and in on time, as work hours never include time for this. Add to all that the marking of student work, and I’m not sure we could fit any extra hours in anywhere. You have the school holidays, Mr Lowe may reply. Sorry; there’s a whole lot more marking and preparation to do before that first bell rings on day one of the new term. Kerrie Wehbe, Blacktown
Lowe is beginning to sound like Paul Keating in 1990 and “the recession we had to have”. Surely by now there is a more rational method of controlling inflation than squeezing the economic power of those who can least afford it (“Lowe’s rate recipe leaves a bitter taste”, June 10). Constantly raising interest rates knowing this Draconian method forces many families into a spiral of poverty makes no sense whatsoever. Christina Foo, Wahroonga
The RBA’s intense and arguably overblown focus on inflation is not only bringing real hardship to Australian families. It is also wrecking our greatest macro-economic achievement of the past 50 years – a jobless rate with three in front (3.7 per cent in April) – an exceptional feat being squandered before our very eyes. Resuming large-scale immigration drives further nails into the coffin. Reckless and shameful. Carl Green, Hurlstone Park
If our current inflation problem is caused by excess profit taking by big business then why are those responsible for raising interest rates not addressing the real problem? Current policy is hurting the section of the community who can least afford this response and are not at all responsible for the inflation in the first place. It’s high time the government recognised this and changed the rules the Reserve Bank operates under. Mitch McTavish, Cootamundra
Democratise housing policy to fix this crisis
Demos means of the common people and so democracy arrived in ancient Greece (“Let the people fix what the House can’t”, June 10). There is no mention of political parties. Intractable problems are solved by consensus and mediation, not dogma and confrontation. Whether it be Bob Hawke’s accord or Scott Morrison’s national cabinet, this is the way forward for co-operation and resolution in difficult times. Accordingly, Allegra Spender’s suggestion of an advisory citizens’ assembly re housing affordability has the potential to offer a way forward. It has a commonality with the Voice that deserves the government’s consideration if not support. Rowan Godwin, Rozelle
There must be many Green voters unhappy with the way the party is handling legislation on the housing fund. Holding an elected government to ransom is no way to solve a problem that is causing hardship to so many people. Ian Adair Hunters Hill
As usual, Peter Hartcher puts the seemingly senseless into perspective. Full credit to Allegra Spender regarding her alternative proposition for housing.
Who would have thought that Ireland with its traditional religious values, could have achieved progressive policy towards both same-sex marriage and abortion via a citizens’ assembly. Equally, our national aspiration for home ownership needs a circuit breaker, one that’s parallel to, not contrary to parliament’s modus operandi.
Hopefully, other independents will support the member for Wentworth’s worthy proposal. The prime minister might then perceive the political value of taking a different, equally democratic tack to solve an intractable political impasse. Cleveland Rose, Dee Why
The article about the slaughter of suburban wildlife by domestic cats was alarming, and informative, but not news to the NSW government (“Exposed: native fauna’s pet problem with roaming cats”, June 10). Members of the public and councils have been complaining to government for years about other people’s cats killing anything that moves, defecating on their property, digging up gardens, tom cats stinking their patios, and being woken at night by caterwauling, but nothing has ever been done. The minister’s spokesperson in the article used meaningless phrases that would fit nicely in the ABC’s comedy series Utopia. The reason that nothing was or will be done is that cats are part of a $ 15 billion industry, and when the NSW Companion Animal Act was written in 1998, that industry had “stakeholders” on the committee, alongside animal welfare groups. There was no voice for the environment or the general public because that might have interfered with somebody’s profits. Cats should be kept on their owner’s property, or else be in a cage or on a leash; in other words, they should be treated just like dogs. David Davis, St Clair
Despite what many claim, cats can be trained to remain indoors: all my family have cats that stay indoors, unless we are outside with them. We train our cats on harnesses and leads. They learn from harness walking the extent of where they can go in the yard when they are allowed outside with us (after two or three years of training). When I go inside, the cats go too. Carole Baxter, Woodgate Beach
I agree that everyone, from owners to councils, should do their bit to control this problem. However, I found it ironic that one particular breed of cat was singled out and that was the Ragdoll, a variety that is particularly suited for indoor living. That’s what they were bred to be. They would not survive outside. They are intelligent and calm and prefer indoor living. Peter Skrzynecki, Eastwood
Why can’t an Anglican school require its principal to sign a statement of religious faith and specify the contents of what the faith requires to obey (“Parents fight school over opposition to marriage rights”, June 10)? It was the Sydney Anglicans who set up their schools, so the Sydney Anglican Diocese should be able to determine what its school principals must believe. Limiting sex to man-woman marriage and otherwise sexual abstinence is what Bible-based Sydney Anglicans believe. If you disagree, then perhaps try a more liberal religious or non-religious private school or a state school. Polly Seidler, Darlinghurst
Beyond the podium
Your correspondent (Letters, June 10) overlooks a crucial point about the fairness of transgender women playing in female sport: the displacement of female athletes who would have competed in a team or event were it not for their place being made available to another athlete on the basis of gender identity rather than sex. Regardless of whether a transgender athlete wins, at elite level, the inclusion of one athlete inevitably means the exclusion of another. Look beyond the podium and medals to the impact on opportunities for women and girls. Nicole Jameson, Figtree
I wake up to Patricia Karvelas, Monday to Friday, and I can’t understand the media interest in the movements of the ratings on her program (“ABC comes out swinging over RN Breakfast listener figures”, June 10). The reason I listen to RN is for the quality programming and the impartiality of its presenters. I hope the powers that be do not do something rash about PK’s future. After all, would you rather listen to the dulcet tones of PK or the rabid shock jocks elsewhere? No brainer, isn’t it: PK is the one. Ratings aren’t everything, except on commercial radio. Robert Pallister, Punchbowl
Breakfast radio will never be the same since Sammy Sparrow stopped dropping in on Gary O’Callaghan at 2UE’s studio in Bligh Street. Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook
Break the curse
Besieged Donald Trump cries “witch hunt” (“Trump the first president to face federal charges”, June 11). He’s partly correct, but there’s no hunt; we know who the witch is. The task now is to unweave the spell he has cast on the credulous people who support him. David McCarthy, Berowra
Nitrous oxide bulbs are called “nangs” when they are used recreationally (“The unlikely supporter in the case for cracking down on nangs”, June 10). Are the users of nang-nongs? Patrick McGrath, Potts Point
We’ll miss David Koch being an integral part of our busy morning routines (“Kochie leaves Seven after a beautiful set of numbers”, June 11). For more than 21 years, the TV was on in the background and Kochie was there, through our family’s school years, packing lunches, rushing off to work, our ups and downs. Thank you, Kochie, for being part of our days. Susan Chan, St Ives
Golf boring? It seems that your correspondent is too young to recall the Greek dramas of Greg Norman’s history in the major golf tournaments (Letters, June 10)? Knocks Succession right out of bounds. John Christie, Oatley
The digital view
Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on smh.com.au
Universities to offer 28 ‘micro-credentials’ to plug skills gap
From JMC: ″It would be much better if state and federal governments restored adequate funding to the TAFE sector and restored apprenticeship schemes. Hey presto, we rely less on migration to fill the gaps.″
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