Facts and Facets
Adam Goodes is a professional Australian rules (AFL League) football player. He was named Australian of the Year 2014. He was chosen ‘for his leadership and advocacy in the fight against racism both on the sporting field and within society – a stance which has won him the admiration and respect of people around Australia.’ (ABC news, 26th January 2014). He is Indigenous Australian. He just made international headlines. For displaying an Indigenous celebration war dance after kicking a goal.
On the surface it is almost possible to believe that the opinion of the Australians towards their Indigenous people has changed. Yet simmering below this surface is unrest on both sides. The Indigenous people are looking for equality and recognition, and based on the reception Alan Goodes got for his war dance, some Australians simply are not ready to embrace this change.
Research showed that 90 % of Australians think that Indigenous arts are ‘important to Australian culture’, yet only 17 % of Australians attended arts created or performed by Aboriginal artists. (Jens Korff, Owner and Author of ‘Creative Spirits’)
For us it is their art, their culture, their history, that is fascinating and magnetic. It appears that this is a different view from many of those brought up in Australia. Why the difference? This is the 21st century. People are educated, more accepting and understanding about multiculturalism, yet this deep seated problem suggests that there still is a great divide. Denial or Acceptance. Where do you stand?
‘The Aboriginal cultural heritage is a treasure cave, and once you walk inside and begin to glimpse at its crystalline insights, truths and tenets, it is impossible to look at the world in the same way again.’ (John Danalis, Australian Author)