The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (15:21): I want to speak about rampant political tokenism. Can I say at the outset that I accept that, on specific or ceremonial occasions, it is appropriate to acknowledge the traditional owners of our lands here in South Australia or, indeed, in other states and territories of Australia.
However, I believe that it has got to a ridiculous stage. If I hear the acknowledgement on certain occasions and in certain circumstances, I—and I suspect a number of other members of the audience—will either scream or heckle the speakers. We not only have the Premier and ministers, but we also have senior public servants, we now have university academics at conferences, and we even have within government departments and agencies instructions to certain department and agency officers that the traditional owners of lands have to be acknowledged at committee meetings within those particular departments and agencies.
We also have the Police Commissioner doing so at various ceremonies, and also the Governor on recent occasions. As I said, it is now right across the board that traditional owners of lands are being acknowledged by speakers at particular functions, not just on traditional, specific ceremonial and important occasions, but just about any occasion you would dare to contemplate.
I suggest that if members look at what occurs in other countries around the world they will not see the Governor of California (or various governors), the President of the United States or, indeed, their equivalents in Canada acknowledging the traditional owners of the lands in Canada and North America on every occasion. So, for how long are we to go on? Is this to go on for hundreds of years?
The Hon. R.P. Wortley: Forever.
The Hon. R.I. LUCAS: Forever, as the honourable Mr Wortley suggests; forever acknowledging the traditional owners of the lands.
The second area that I want to highlight in relation to rampant political tokenism is what we are seeing increasingly as the Australian population being described as indigenous and, for those who are not, non-indigenous. We hear the Premier and the Prime Minister, and now most sections of the media, describing the Australian population as comprising indigenous and non-indigenous.
I assume that I am described as non-indigenous and, on behalf of the non-indigenous community, I object strenuously to being defined and described as what I am not. I am an Australian. If you want to describe me as an Australian of Japanese Catholic background, so be it; that is a fair and accurate description, but I am not a non-indigenous Australian. I do not want to be described as a non-indigenous Australian. I do not want the Premier, the Prime Minister or, indeed, The Advertiser or the ABC—as I said in the examples of rampant political tokenism and correctness—to describe me and others as non-indigenous.
Again, I suggest that one looks at the experiences in Canada and North America, and, indeed, in New Zealand also. Canada has its Aboriginals, who are described as North American Indians or other correct descriptions of that section of the population. But, those who are not North American Indians or Aboriginals are described as Canadians. In America, there are the Native Americans or American Indians, but those who are not are described as Americans. They are not described as non-Native Americans. They are not described as non-American Indians. In Canada they are not described as non-Aboriginals. And, in New Zealand, the indigenous population, of course, is known as Maori, but the non indigenous population is not described as non-Maori. They are described as New Zealanders.
I believe that the silent majority in Australia should, as I said, speak out if they agree with this particular view, and we should object to being described by those who want to label and use politically correct titles, as I said, as an example of rampant political tokenism in calling all of us non indigenous Australians.
Finally, I will not have time to speak at length about it but, as to the latest attempts to retitle some of Adelaide’s major landmarks with Aboriginal names, I will reserve speaking about that issue for another occasion.