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Recognition to bridge the gulf of respect

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Australia has made great strides in recognising its disadvantaged and its minorities, but it cannot be a complete commonwealth until it recognises the most disadvantaged and overlooked of all.

Our first peoples are humanity's longest continuing civilisation and confer a unique status on our country, and also a unique responsibility.

Yet they are excluded from Australia's success. They live in a parallel land of Third World conditions, when they could be included as the completing third part of our unique nation.

The three parts as Noel Pearson of Cape York brilliantly explains them: "There is our ancient heritage, written on the continent and the original culture painted on its land and seascapes.

"There is its British inheritance, the structures of government and society transported from the United Kingdom fixing its foundations in the ancient soil.

"There is its multicultural achievement: a triumph of immigration that brought together the gifts of people and cultures from all over the globe - forming one indissoluble commonwealth."

In Pearson's words, "we stand on the cusp of bringing these three parts of our national story together"........

© Brisbane Times