Let’s not fear diversity in Australia

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounces politics of fear in UN speech

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounces politics of fear in UN speech (from You Tube)

While Donald Trump was vowing to ban Muslims during the 2nd Presidential debate in America something very interesting happened a world away in Australia’s Federal Parliament.

Prime Minister Turnbull and Opposition Leader Shorten passed a bipartisan motion condemning racism in all forms and calling for a respectful and unified nation.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also deserves credit for standing up to some of the rhetoric of One Nation recently.

This today highlights that Australia has taken a leading role with regards to the global issues of the day and opened us up to a potential doorway of building for a better tomorrow.
If we allow ourselves to feed our hate and fear it will only hurt our economy, our culture and in many ways our identity. We cannot afford to fight petty battles such as this when so much is at stake with our global economy transitioning into new developing sectors, climate change, and overpopulation occurring too. Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau said it best recently in his UN address denouncing the politics of fear.

One Nation has seats in the Federal Senate and may have a chance of winning some seats at the upcoming Queensland election. Many of its supporters feel forgotten and left behind. But that doesn’t mean we should sacrifice our values and principals because of fear and anxiety. We cannot be taken hostage by bullies who prey on our fears. The moment we give in is the moment they win, creating division, hurt, and suffering.

If anything is evident in the psychology of some of these profiles who take advantage is that they lack compassion, and the willingness to be understanding and looking from one others point of view for a change. We are seeing a lack of compromise and teamwork. Career politicians are taking advantage of fear and using it to seek electoral success.

Australia is an immigrant nation with a rich background of diverse cultures and faiths. If not for both the Chinese and European prospectors an Australian Gold Rush might never have happened. If not for the Japanese, our pearling industry in the early 20th century may not have thrived. Pacific Islanders working in our sugar plantations made a significant contribution before cane harvesters were invented.

First Australians taught many early settlers how to live off the land. After the horrors of World War 2, Eastern Europeans came here to work to help build the Snowy Mountain Scheme. Vietnamese and Middle – Eastern peoples have made great contributions to small businesses in the Australian economy.

We achieve great things when working together, not against one another.

In the Redlands our local and state politicians should support our Prime Minister and Opposition Leader in condemning racism.

Redlands’ Federal MP Andrew Laming should also take a strong ethical stand on racial and religious fear mongering. He has some back history to overcome. Once upon a time he was the Indigenous Affairs spokesperson for the Federal Coalition but was demoted following remarks about Indigenous peoples and Pacific Islanders being on a welfare taps amid racial tensions in Logan. He has often jumped aboard the Halal scepticism argument without thinking out his strategy.

Another local politician who courts One Nation supporters is Cleveland MP Mark Robinson – recently getting his five minutes of fame by accusing other politicians of muspandering.

True leadership can be found when leaders earn respect for doing the right thing:

  • Keating with the Redfern address apologising for the abuse of First Australians culture by the hands of early European settlers
  • Howard taking a stand on gun control after the Port Arthur massacre
  • Rudd making the apology to the stolen generations

Leadership is about responsibility not showbiz style self promotion.

People want their problems solved not dragged out. The politics of fear may bring short term success to cynical politicians but ethical leadership is what our communities need.

Callen Sorensen – Karklis

Callen Sorensen-Karkliss

Callen Sorensen-Karkliss

Callen is an active member of the Australian Fabians Society, ALP, Crime Stoppers, Meals on Wheels and is a Quandamooka Noonucle Indigenous person with a strong commitment to community. Callen has worked in the retail and market research sectors and is currently a student at Griffith University and a manager of a small IT – based business webhaven


Published by Redlands2030 – 20 October 2016