Time to create a proud heritage

It cannot be denied that our white ancestors did much harm, ignorantly acting out the mistaken beliefs of their generation. They were not evil people, but their well-meaning actions often had deeply evil consequences.

If we have truth in us today, we must be sorry for what happened. And glad that the time for saying sorry has at last arrived.

As a kid growing up in Queensland in the 1940s, my mum (a good, caring woman) would see me putting a penny into my mouth and say, Take it out you dont know where its been a black man might have been using it.

Small events form a pattern of falsehood that eventually becomes racial prejudice. I learned more about prejudice when years later a dear Christian friend told me about his childhood in 1930s rural Victoria.

After Church on a Sunday morning if there was nothing better to do, his dad and uncle would head off with their rifles, shooting wild pigs. He often heard them skite how if they got the chance theyd really enjoy shooting a couple of blacks as well.

This is a dreadful heritage to carry. But this sorry time is our opportunity to break through into reconciliation. History, for which we were not responsible, has now made Australia home to black, white, brown and every other imaginable colour of humankind.

So lets respect and honour one another, regardless of our skin, our accent, our religion, our clothing, the country of our birth, our sexuality, our age or our gender.

This will become a heritage for our children to be truly proud of.

Lee Andresen

East Ballina

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