Moving On Culture

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Working Both Ways

As ATSI people try to maintain their cultural integrity, in the face of a dominant non – Indigenous society, many Australians are now looking for a ‘working both ways’ approach to interaction between the two worlds. Indigenous Australians see a need to gain control of the two knowledge and linguistic systems to move successfully into the future. Similarly, non – Indigenous Australians can see things from the ‘two – way’ perspective, appreciating the value of Indigenous culture. Rather than dominating most interactions, non – Indigenous Australians have the chance to work proactively towards countering disadvantage by fostering Indigenous employment and actively creating opportunities for ATSI people. Reconciliation in the land of the ‘fair go’ can commence with attitudes which value multiculturalism and the uniqueness of ATSI cultures. It is not about ‘special treatment’ – it is about respect and acceptance of difference, and moving on to address the discrepancies in life opportunities. 3

Around the country cultural tourism ventures, Indigenous heritage units, community councils and cultural centres are developing informative programs recognising the unique role and expertise that local Aboriginal people can offer as ‘traditional custodians’. Through the involvement of the wider community these centres provide Indigenous perspectives on the management of lands and waters, and raise awareness of the management and protection of Indigenous cultural heritage. ATSI people involved in these cultural programs:

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