Tag Archives: Equality

The Man who United our Nation

The Lonely Hero

image

Lionel Rose was unaware of the National Pride that he had evoked. When the plane landed back in Melbourne in 1968, thousands of well dressed white people cheered from the tarmac and balconies to welcome home the Aboriginal Star. A convertible was parked awaiting his arrival.

” Who are all these people waiting for ?” Rose asked the Air-hostess. He thought that maybe a The Beatles had arrived at Essendon Airport.

“You” she replied.

image

Lionel Rose was a National Boxing Hero after he won the Bantamweight Title by beating Masahiko ‘Fighting’ Harada, the Japanese Champion in Tokyo.

People had sent gum leaves over to Japan in support of the young boxer.

Lionel Rose was propped up at the back of the convertible so that the roaring crowd could get a good look at him and shake his hand as he passed. A ticker-tape parade down Swanston Street had been arranged, and the street was lined with 100,000 Melbournians, cheering the Aboriginal man. He went on to become The Australian of the Year in 1968.

image

Aboriginal people had been granted Australian Citizenship in 1967 which meant that Rose could obtain a passport, buy land and obtain legal rights. The constitutional Referendum, to allow Aboriginals rights, was voted in favour by 90.77 of the population, on the 27th of May. Rose won the Title on 26th of Feb, which meant that the 19-year-old had been an Australian Citizen for 9 months. Rose was a Celebrity for both Aboriginals and Caucasians, when the fight against racism was still on shaky turf.

Rose was the first Original Australian to be named Australian of the Year. When accepting the award, he said;

“One hundred and eighty-two years ago one of my mob would have been a dead cert for this.” (www.australianoftheyear.org.au)

RECONCILIATION WEEK May 27 – June 3

Citizen Kerr sacked an Australian Government on 11/11

The weight of Australian history fell heavy on the shoulders of Governor General John Kerr, when he sacked an Australian Prime Minister in 1975. A Constitutional crisis upset the fate of the Country.

A young optimistic Australia wanted an end to the Vietnam war, The Whitlam Government ended it. Australians wanted access to education and health, so they got it.Women wanted equality so the amendments were made. Immigrants wanted rights so they had them and the Aboriginals wanted to be recognised as people and not fauna and so they were.

img_5340
Giving Australians rights to be Australian

“Migrants have given much to Australia; Australia has given to little in return” Gough Whitlam

For conservative Australia it was happening a bit too fast and the ‘Old Guard’ clung to the past and their status. Sir Kerr had a lot of pressure from many influences. A book ,’The Falcon and the Snowman’; claimed American interference. As the Queens representative, she had to  have been at the party. Malcolm Frazer of the Liberal Party was made caretaker, even though the people voted Labor, so they had to have been there. Whitlam stopped the ‘White only policy’, so that excludes a lot. One thing is for sure, once Kerr did the deed, they turned their back on him.

It took a few decades to close the gates that Whitlam opened. War is back, Education is expensive,  Medicare is getting the chop. Women are losing ground and immigration has become a taboo subject. ‘This didn’t happen overnight’, it couldn’t, the 70’s and 80’s Generations were the heirs to the Whitlam Legacy. Cate Blanchett’s speech at Gough’s funeral summed up the gratitude.

Cate Blanchetts Speech

Public  feed back

” Gough will never be forgotten for introducing Medicare in Australia” Melissa- USU

Seemed like a lot of money at the time, he must have been a visionary regarding the Arts” Meridith Farmer

“Gough was a man of his word.” Joanie – Administration

“His influence was significant,my brother is  Magistrate thanks to education” Kerry Teacher

” They wouldn’t have tried to sell it when he was alive, they waited a year” Sophie – Artist

” I never said I’m immortal …I do believe in correct language. I’m Eternal, not immortal’ quoting  Whitlam , Robbie -Business Consultant

Why I ran for White Ribbon?

image

White Ribbon Ambassadors are men who recognise the importance of taking responsibility and playing a leadership role in preventing men’s violence against women. They are formal representatives  who have the knowledge, skills, attributes and determination to influence Australian men to critically evaluate their attitudes and behaviours toward women.

Brent with his mother Bernie
Brent with his mother Bernie

Brent Howard, a White Ribbon Ambassador, ran the Medibank Melbourne Marathon to raise money and awareness for the prevention of violence towards women. He is a young father and committed to the it’s objectives.

“Eva (his daughter) is why programs like White Ribbon are so important. I for one, don’t want my daughter to grow up in a country where Domestic Violence is a common occurrence. When she grows up I want to be able to look her in the eye and say I didn’t stand by, I did something to make her world a better place.

Howard was the grandson of a caring woman who was a victim of domestic violence.

The person I think of most when I run is my Nan. My Nan was subjected to domestic abuse by the man she married. He died long before she did and with it so did the abuse. But what he left behind was a wife and 6 kids. My Nan was the most determined, caring and courageous woman I’ve known. She earned the nick name Sadie as she worked 3 cleaning jobs to keep a roof over her children’s heads. Growing up my Nan was an avid runner, but I never knew her as a runner. This along with many other things is something you have to give up when left to pay the bills and look after a house full of kids.

I run for White Ribbon, for those like my Nan. – for those who can’t” 

Not Silent
Not Silent

“Men’s violence against women is a serious social issue in Australia and has been for decades. Now this issue has a more focused spotlight, it is a critical opportunity for government and services to better work together, to create real social change”claims Libby Davies, CEO of White Ribbon Australia

Ms. Davies also called on governments to increase support for violence prevention:

“There is evidence that prevention is working. We have data showing that White Ribbon programs are driving the attitudinal and behavioral change needed to stop men’s violence against women.

Brent Howard raised $5,792.32 for the protection of women

image

“I use my love of running to raise awareness and funds for White Ribbon Australia.”

.http://www.whiteribbon.org.au