HISTORY IS A 'PLACE TO VISIT, NOT TO DWELL'
History can be an amalgam of many ingredients. Part known facts, mythology, poetic licence, folklore and sometimes a few lies.
It is often said we learn from the lessons of history. Clearly, as a teacher, we would have to give it a D-minus.
Either that or our world leaders slept through the tutorials.
I acknowledge and respect the fact that different people will have different perceptions of some historical events, especially those from our colonial past.
There is no suggestion they should be forgotten or ignored.
However, I think it is reasonable to ask, just how relevant is the distant past to our current situation and does looking back distract our focus for the way forward?
The recent Black Lives Matter rallies are an example how the core message can be clouded by what could be tangential issues.
This is not to imply we should be totally dismissive of them all.
Suggestions of changes to street and place names, removal of monuments etc, have the potential to be divisive and may not necessarily help advance the cause.
In fact, the malicious actions of a few individuals can be counterproductive, as typified by the attacks on monuments of former prime ministers.
None of our living or recently deceased prime ministers could be considered racist.
Similarly, to label Captain Cook memorials with genocide references is tenuous.
Observers say some Australians confuse Cook's voyage and the first fleet arrival.
Outcomes for indigenous people after the arrival of the first fleet is another matter.
A more enlightened approach was exhibited by the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council.
The proposal was for a statue of the young Aboriginal girl, Patyegarang.
If this aids education, gives historical balance, and engenders harmony, then it cannot be a bad thing.
A nation's journey is a little like our own. There may have been things we omitted to do and some things we may have done better.
Perhaps what is most important is the here and now and how we chart the path ahead.
History is a place to visit - not to dwell.
Wayne Pearse, Coolamon
NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE
Recently I read your editorial in The Daily Advertiser and the subject was about university education and getting a job as a result of such studies.
Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) said "University is a place where people are taught how to learn".
I have knowledge of many people who graduated from university that could not suddenly get a job appropriate to their academic achievement.
My definition of university is, when objective is the subject and the subject is experience and the experience is learning, it's not what you study that counts, it's learning how to study.
University can't teach experience.
Peter Connell, Narrandera
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