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Author Topic: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 3  (Read 2877 times)

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[2020 LA CLUB] Week 3
« on: May 11, 2020, 12:08:52 pm »
Happy Monday!
Alas another Uluru article but it was the next one in my collection of LA Articles! Promise next week will be a different topic!!

Background Info
Background Information
On October 31, 2017, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park's Board of Management voted unanimously to ban the climbing of Uluru from October 26, 2019.
The Board, consisting of eight Indigenous traditional owners and three representatives from National Parks, accepted a proposal to put a stop to climbing on the 34th anniversary of the Uluru handback.
Chairman Sammy Wilson, a traditional owner who also runs a small tourism business, stated, 'Some people, in tourism and government, for example, might have been saying we need to keep it open but it's not their law that lies in this land...
The Government needs to respect what we are saying about our culture in the same way it expects us to abide by its laws.'
Traditional owners have been asking visitors not to climb Uluru since the 1985 handback and signs requesting people reconsider climbing have been in place at the base of the climb area since 1992.
Central Land Council Director, David Ross, has supported the decision, stating, 'Why this decision wasn't made decades ago is a fair question.' However, he further stated, 'Anangu [the traditional owners of Uluru] have genuinely struggled to accommodate many powerful competing interests and have faced massive pressure.'                               (cont. next page)
In April, 2016, the Turnbull government announced it did not intend to end the climb. The Environment Minister at the time, Greg Hunt, stated there were 'no plans to change current arrangements.' In 2009, when in opposition, Hunt had claimed that banning the climb would 'end one of the great tourism experiences in Australia.' On the eve of the ban, numerous media articles appeared both supporting and condemning the incoming law. A number of these are reproduced below: letters to the editor "Closing Uluru to climbers" by Nick Toovey and "Uluru more than the preserve of the few" by Peter Waterhouse

Closing Uluru to climbers: This is a chance to learn something, its not a loss        
Source: The Age October 30, 2019 12.00 am

It was no small thing to close Uluru to climbers last Friday, which should have been attended by the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader. That insensitive snub aside, it will allow the focus for visitors to properly shift from "conquering" Uluru to understanding it; from "boasting about climbing" to learning about it and what it means. For too long, non-Indigenous Australians have largely ignored the Indigenous understanding and significance of this majestic monolith. The importance of the birthing trees near Ararat is another example of this.
Many non-Indigenous Australians find themselves in a hard place trying to put themselves in the position of Indigenous Australians. Aspects like the songlines, sacred sights, the Bora grounds (where boys are initiated into men) have little meaning to people who regard the land and landscapes as merely something to be exploited, conquered or tamed. Not so for Indigenous people across Australia.
Now at Uluru, visitors will hopefully listen, learn, appreciate, respect and understand its significance. Not to do so is to run the risk of repeating the "terra nullius" tragedy of white settlement all over again. There is so much more to Uluru than just a massive rock to climb. New heights of understanding can be reached.   
Nick Toovey, Beaumaris

Canberra Times Letters to the Editor:  Uluru more than the preserve of a few

Uluru existed well before human eyes first gazed upon it.
The impending closure of the Uluru climbing track, while certainly understandable from a sacral point of view, from a social point of view seems to be based on the pretence that the rock is essentially owned by one group of people, rather than to be respectfully shared by all.
In 2005  I, and many other domestic and international tourists, conscientiously ascended the spine of the rock in the small window of opportunity that exists just after dawn. We did not spit on it, or leave rubbish, or etch our initials on to the hallowed surface.
Similarly, during a guided tour, we noted its spiritual significance to our first peoples and thus did not take any photos of the sacred sites around the base, or collect small specimens of the rock to bring back home.
Unlike other man-made buildings or houses of worship, Uluru has physically existed well before human eyes first gazed upon its grand geographic majesty, and so should be more than the ultimate preserve of only a few.
It forms part of our historic landscape, which should not be denied to subsequent generations, who simply weren't born early enough to be able to claim an exclusive connection to a natural beauty; it therefore can indeed be pastorally protected, while still being physically appreciated.

Peter Waterhouse, Craigieburn, Vic
English 30, Further Maths 33, Biology 33, Legal Studies 27, Psychology 32

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