'Lidia Thorpe takes on Sam Newman in impassioned response to call for booing Welcome to Country'1.LidiaThorpe2.SamNewman3.WelcometoCountry4.Booing5.Indigenousrights6.Australianpolitics7.Aboriginalculture8.Socialjustice9.Racism
'Lidia Thorpe takes on Sam Newman in impassioned response to call for booing Welcome to Country'

‘Lidia Thorpe takes on Sam Newman in impassioned response to call for booing Welcome to Country’

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Lidia Thorpe condemns Sam Newman as ‘racist’ for comments on Welcome to Country ceremonies


Lidia Thorpe, the Australian Senator and advocate for Indigenous rights, has strongly criticized former football star Sam Newman for his comments on Welcome to Country ceremonies. Newman, who made the controversial remarks on his podcast, “You Cannot Be Serious,” suggested that Australians should either boo or start slow clapping whenever the ceremony takes place at an event. Thorpe, in response, labeled Newman as “racist” and emphasized that the Welcome to Country ceremony is about peace and bringing people together.

The Importance of Welcome to Country Ceremonies

The Welcome to Country ceremony is a significant part of Aboriginal culture and plays a vital role in acknowledging the traditional owners of the land. It provides an opportunity to pay respect to the Indigenous people and their enduring connection to the land. The ceremony serves as a reminder of the ancient and continuing heritage of Australia’s First Nations people and promotes the understanding and appreciation of their rich culture.

Educating Sam Newman

Thorpe’s criticism of Newman’s comments is justified, as they demonstrate a lack of understanding and respect for Indigenous cultures. To dismiss the ceremony as “nonsense” and encourage booing or slow clapping is not only disrespectful but also perpetuates a harmful attitude towards Indigenous Australians. It is essential for individuals like Newman to educate themselves on the significance of the Welcome to Country ceremony and its role in reconciliation and social cohesion.

Thorpe’s Response and the Message of Peace

Thorpe’s strong condemnation of Newman’s comments highlights her commitment to promoting peace and respect among all Australians. By emphasizing that the Welcome to Country ceremony is about peace, she reminds us of the symbolic purpose behind the ceremony. Inspired by the traditional practices of the Indigenous people, the ceremony aims to foster unity and understanding among diverse communities.

Irrelevance of Sam Newman

Thorpe’s dismissal of Newman as irrelevant to the current debates is not unwarranted. Newman’s controversial and inflammatory remarks often attract attention for the wrong reasons. While he is entitled to his opinions, it is important to recognize that his views do not represent the broader Australian society’s attitudes towards Indigenous rights and cultural appreciation. Thorpe’s response reflects the need to give voice to those who advocate for understanding, inclusivity, and social justice.

Importance of Storytelling and Understanding

Thorpe also responded to suggestions that there were “too many” Welcome to Country ceremonies. She stressed the importance of allowing traditional owners and event organizers to decide on the frequency and necessity of these ceremonies. Rather than seeing the ceremonies as a burden or inconvenience, Thorpe encouraged people to appreciate the stories and knowledge shared during the ceremonies. Understanding the land we inhabit and the stories behind it is crucial for Australia’s growth and unity as a nation.

Sarrah Le Marquand’s Perspective

Sarrah Le Marquand, the editor of Stellar Magazine, also chimed in, expressing her belief that Newman should “get over it.” In her view, dedicating a few minutes to a Welcome to Country ceremony is a small but meaningful way to honor the Indigenous people and their significance to Australian history and identity. By listening respectfully, Australians can demonstrate their appreciation and bridge the divide between different cultures.

Eradicating Racist Attitudes and Divisions

Newman’s repeated criticism of the AFL over its recognition of First Nations people is concerning and highlights the persistence of racism in Australian society. His inflammatory language and dismissive tone towards Indigenous traditions continue to perpetuate harmful stereotypes and divisions. It is essential for all Australians to actively confront and address these racist attitudes and strive for a more inclusive and equitable society.

Understanding Indigenous Rights

The comments made by Newman suggest a lack of understanding of the historical and ongoing struggles faced by Indigenous Australians. The Welcome to Country ceremony is one of the ways to recognize and respect the rights of Indigenous people, whose land was colonized and whose culture has often been diminished or ignored. Acknowledging and appreciating Indigenous rights, including the significance of the Welcome to Country ceremony, is a crucial step towards rectifying historical injustices and building a more harmonious nation.

Promoting Unity and Respect

Thorpe’s response to Newman’s comments reflects the broader movement towards promoting unity and respect in Australian society. By confronting and challenging racist attitudes, we can work towards a future where all people, regardless of their cultural background, are treated with dignity and equality. Embracing Indigenous cultures and recognizing their value is not divisive; it is an essential part of establishing a society that cherishes diversity and fosters genuine reconciliation.

Moving Forward

To address the divisive rhetoric perpetuated by individuals like Sam Newman, it is crucial that society as a whole educates itself about the historical and cultural significance of Welcome to Country ceremonies. Engaging in meaningful dialogue and challenging discriminatory attitudes can pave the way for greater understanding and unity among Australians. By listening, learning, and embracing the diverse voices and experiences of First Nations people, we can work towards a more just and inclusive future for all.


<< photo by Людмила Шалимова >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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