Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie.
Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie.

LETTER: Why stifle proud history of activism at unis?

JARROD Bleijie has taken great offence at the University of the Sunshine Coast's 20th year celebrations (Daily, March 8).

Judith Durham's version of the Australian National Anthem was played, which emphasises Australia's Indigenous history but clearly Mr Bleijie was left unimpressed.

I'm glad he voiced his feelings of offence and outrage because this reaction can foster some much-needed conversation and reflection about racial privilege.

I am humbled and grateful to understand how my own white privilege has blinded me from the ongoing legacy of colonisation, dispossession and genocide.

I seek to respectfully challenge racism that is embedded in language.

Take a look at the line "for we are young and free". Herein lies the proof of falsehood; the failure to acknowledge the ancient history of indigenous peoples.

It only serves to perpetuate the idea of terra nullis.

Opposition Leader Lawrence Springboard has added to the debate by asserting that "change shouldn't be instigated by university activists".

Well I'm proud that activism is alive and well at the USC.

Isn't student activism as old as universities themselves?

Instead of taking offence, let's take responsibility and begin to really understand and respect our nation's rich indigenous culture.

NATALIE ALEXANDER, Alexandra Headland


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