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Editorial May 27th 2022

Welcome to this week’s editorial, As most of you are aware it is national reconciliation week. Reconciliation in Australia usually comes with an Upper Case ‘R’ which promotes the meaning of “working to overcome the division (often called "the gap") and inequality between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people”. But then there is the lower case ‘r’ of reconciliation. To Christians the word reconciliation means ‘to be at peace again’. And here we are, under a new government in week one and I am beginning to feel somewhat at peace again with what I see and hear. For a start all the shouting has stopped. The incessant screaming from the TV and radio, the bombardment of pamphlets and the insistence of robo-calls. We have been burdened by claims and counterclaims, where factions denounce each other and declare gloom and doom if they aren’t put in charge. For weeks the revelation of rising prices, the spiralling of costs of living, the blowout of electricity charges and the threat that our national security is at issue were all played out in the media at full volume. Day in Day out. But is seems to have stopped, for the minute and a new peace has descended. A quiet that enables us to have time to think through what we have been through and what lies ahead. It is now time to collate all the promises made to the electorates and the country as a whole. The promise of Big ‘R’ Reconciliation, the release of the Tamil family back to Biloela, the improvements to health services. The list goes on and on. There were millions of dollars promised along with the countless commitments to improve, to engage, to consult, to include, and to be better. I believe we can be better and that it starts with redefining who we are. Australia is not a country of pulpit driven extremists bent on self serving nepotism, blinkered to thinking that theirs’ is the only way, leaping onto ventures that benefit the few. As it turns out, from our election results, Australia has been reminded that it is a rich and wonderfully diverse country that is female, ethnic, teal, red, green, first nation, multilingual, passionate, proud, caring, fair yet tolerant enough to allow minor groups to exist, have an opinion and, if they have something good to contribute, then join in at the big table. To use the Christian definition of small ‘r’ reconciliation the path requires confession where one says sorry and promises to change their ways . The priest might then sets a task or suggests prayers to be said in order to achieve forgiveness. This is sometimes called 'penance'. Finally comes absolution, the release from the feeling of guilt. In this week of national reconciliation lets celebrate Australia coming of age and hope that we can genuinely begin to say Sorry as a nation with a what now appears to be a genuine commitment for real reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. While we are at it we could also extend a heartfelt apology to the Nadesalingam family and all the other refugees that we felt it was OK to treat so poorly. For what was done to these good people there will never be forgiveness or absolution. May their punishers rot. The opportunity presents where we can begin to restore our national dignity and reset our moral compass and humanity. If we choose to Until next lei

Image: Australian Story: Robert Koenig-Luck

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