Education: not cultural assimilation rebadged, Culturally united education with new symbols

Speaking in Adelaide today, Dr John Coulter, National President of Sustainable Population Australia congratulated Kevin Rudd on the first big step toward reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. ‘But’ he said, ‘it is only the first step along the road to creating a single united nation which incorporates and respects the cultures of both. ‘You have identified education as a critical element but whose education and containing what cultural assumptions? Education must not be merely another route to assimilation. Non-indigenous Australians must acknowledge that Aboriginal culture contains elements that a new reconciled and integrated culture must contain. ‘Over 60,000 years Aboriginal people came to respect the land, to treat it with reverence and to identify with it. Today the mainstream culture sees a land to be exploited. Every resource must be discovered, dug up and shipped out, faster and ever faster til nothing is left for future generations but a vast empty hole in the ground. The mainstream must learn a reverence for the land and where better than from our own indigenous brothers and sisters?’ Dr Coulter continued, ‘Not only would explicit acknowledgment of the superior ethical attitude to land of indigenous people reinforce pride in their own culture, it is an ethical attitude we all need to learn for our own survival. There are very important Aboriginal cultural values that need to be adopted by the mainstream and especially in our educational curricula for both black and white.’ He then suggested one symbolic change may help to move us toward a more reverent and caring attitude toward our country, its unique environment, its plants and its animals. ‘Rather than continue with the irrelevant European star signs, we could all be born under an Australian totemic plant and animal with different totems for each day in the year – 366 of them. Thus among our 20 million population there would be 55,000 people with special knowledge of and a dedication to care for and respect each of these 366 plants and 366 animals. ‘This is not in any way to replace Aboriginal totemic associations or to be disrespectful. Rather it is to illustrate that their tradition and cultural practice is so valuable that it has been adopted in principle into the mainstream. ‘Every class of non-indigenous children would be associated with 20 -30 different animal and plant totems and every class would learn about those living Australian symbols, their environments and their associations with the country we all call home; and hopefully, to develop a reverence for land that is woefully deficient in the mainstream culture’ Dr Coulter concluded. Further information: Dr John Coulter, National President, Sustainable Population Australia 08 83882153

Emulate China & achieve emission targets (DEC)

“Penny Wong, in her last speech to the Poznan Conference identified Australia’s population growth as a serious impediment to achieving the Rudd Government’s own 2050 emission reduction target. Yet every state government, with the full support of Federal Government policy, is chasing population growth and growth in per capita consumption, very substantially increasing, rather than …

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Record population growth disaster for climate targets (DEC)

“No wonder Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong would not commit Australia to a 2020 target for emissions before the Poznan, Poland meeting next week,” he says. “It is impossible to reconcile cuts in emissions with Australia’s continued population growth. Australia’s very high population growth rate will make it impossible to achieve acceptable greenhouse emission targets. …

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Rudd repeats Hawke failure (Sept)

Dr Coulter continued, “Professor Garnaut in his recent supplementary report pointed out that an overall 10% reduction in national emissions by 2020 would require a 30% cut in per capita emissions but failed to draw the obvious conclusion that the Rudd Government’s push for ever higher population growth is making the job of reducing our national emissions much …

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Budget ignores emerging environmental calamity (MAY)

By increasing Australia’s population through higher immigration and bigger baby bonuses, this week’s Budget ignores the emerging crises of climate change and the end of cheap conventional oil, according to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA). The Budget saw Australia’s official immigration rate increase to 190,300 from 177,000, on top of 100,000 temporary workers. The baby bonus …

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Past the time to give precedence to the environment: garnaut report (FEB)

Past the Time to give Precedence to the Environment: Garnaut Report    ‘One can only hope that the ignorance shown by Anna Bligh, the Premier of Queensland is not shared by our Prime Minister’ remarked Dr Coulter, this afternoon when he saw the Premier’s comments on the Garnaut Report. ‘The Queensland Premier seems not to realise …

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Keep but modify citizenship test (JAN)

Australia should keep the citizenship test but orient it toward the future rather than the past, according to Sustainable Population Australia inc (SPA). SPA National President, Dr John Coulter, says intending citizens should certainly think of Australia’s past. “But it is even more important that they understand the present and can participate in building a …

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