Time for humility and a leadership change

Time for humility and a leadership change


Illustration: Cathy WilcoxCredit:

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Time for humility and a leadership change

It is deeply shameful that Australia has lost Heritier Lumumba. He represents the Australia we could have: a society where brave, intelligent, articulate deep thinkers with integrity are valued, regardless of their cultural identity.

It is deeply shameful that Eddie McGuire just can’t seem to say “⁣sorry”⁣. But unfortunately he represents the kind of leadership we have at the helm of most sporting, political and business institutions in this country: over-entitled, monocultural human anachronisms. Show some humility, Eddie. Just resign.
Indra Liepins, Glenroy

Speak out against racism
Systemic racism anywhere in the community flourishes because not enough people have the stomach to speak out against it. It is much easier to go along with name calling and other slurs than call it out and risk being branded a pariah. If Mr Lumumba had to endure endless abuse of this type, it would almost certainly be because not enough people in the club had the guts to call for an end to it. It’s that simple.
John Rawson, Mernda

Black mark on Collingwood’s history
Eddie McGuire is obviously sharpening his skills as a future politician. His description of the report into racism at the Collingwood Football Club as “a proud day for the club”⁣ is a classic case of “double think”. Only Eddie could sit there and shamelessly gloss over as “⁣shiny white”⁣ what is clearly a black mark on the club.
Nick Toovey, Beaumaris

Denialism continues to corrode social fabric
Eddie McGuire’s conflicted response to his football club’s Independent report on racism reflects a broader “⁣bad faith”⁣ or disconnect within the Australian community when dealing with Indigenous history. An unwillingness to engage in a genuine process of truth telling which, inevitably, will not be comfortable for the white community but is vital for this nation’s future.

Eddie, like Scott Morrison, opts for a well-intentioned and bland “let’s all move on”⁣ resolution to racism. No truth and reconciliation accounting. Just a denialism that continues to corrode our social fabric.
Jon McMillan, Mount Eliza

Swift, public recompense needed
So my precious Collingwood footy club has not only let people of colour down but they have let my very white self down as well. The part that’s beyond my understanding is that if this has been going on for so long, and if it’s so pervasive, why hasn’t it come to light earlier? What structures and which people have kept a lid on what appears to be the disgraceful culture of the club? And for what purpose?

What is our society if power, patronage and money led to the despicable behaviour of the Collingwood Football Club and what example does it set for children? Compensation and apology should be swift and public.
Carol Oliver, Carlton

Staying away from the footy
On August 14, 2015, I attended Adam Goodes’ first home game at the SCG after he had spent time away over racist taunts, along with 38,408 AFL fans. Unfortunately, despite two weeks of anti-racist solidarity actions by fellow players, and anti-racism messages all around the SCG, the 5000 or so away fans seated in the Dally Messenger Stand still booed Goodes whenever he got the ball. Who were those away fans, you ask? Well, you can probably guess. Sydney beat Collingwood 87-76, but much like Goodes, I haven’t been back since.
Lachlan Drummond, Allawah, NSW

McGuire needs to take responsibility
What will it take to have Eddie McGuire take responsibility for anything. Widespread systematic entrenched racism in the club he has managed and guided for years. Collingwood as a club and community need to sack him immediately.
Dan Connor, Black Head, NSW


It’s all about identity
Andy Meddick’s advocacy for his children’s chosen identities (“My vote on the conversion practice bill is personal”⁣, 2/2) is for me both inspiring and depressing. Inspiring because he expresses fiercely unconditional love and pride for his children. Simultaneously depressing because it highlights that my parents never advocated for my deep human need to know my identity.

Adopted as a newborn in the 1960s, my original birth certificate was legally cancelled and replaced with a birth certificate falsely proclaiming I was born to my adoptive parents. Furthermore, the hospital apparently disposed of the medical records relating to my birth, making it impossible to identify my mother with certainty and, under Victorian legislation, it is unclear if I can ever reclaim and integrate my rightful genealogical identity.

Some people continue to believe that historical adoptions, which permanently suppress the adoptees’ natural genealogical identities, are happily ever after stories for which adopted people should be grateful. Those holding such false beliefs would probably also not support the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020.
Penny Mackieson, Richmond

Support or butt out
It is understandable that the religious establishment would be concerned at the imminent passage of the conversion practices bill. After all, their basic texts, the Bible and the Koran, contain numerous examples of the wickedness of “⁣aberrant”⁣ sexual behaviour with fierce vengeance endorsed by God.

While churches have performed logical gymnastics in recent times to pick and choose from these articles of faith, there is still a lingering cloud of distaste and disapproval of queer sexual orientation. Individuals need confirmation and support as they thread their way through what can be a confusing aspect of their lives.

If the prayers and guidance of the churches are to support an individual in their choices without favouring any particular outcome, well and good. Otherwise, best to butt out.
Peter Barry, Marysville

Ignorance the true evil
There is only one evil in the world and that is ignorance. Gay conversion is a virulent form of ignorance, which belongs in the days of the Inquisition. It is a form of torture no matter how conservative religious leaders try to water it down. A person’s sexuality is exactly that and cannot be changed by any ideas based on outdated religious dogma.

Gay conversion needs to be seen as what it is, an ignorance from an ignorant past.
Spencer Leighton, Torquay

Best choice unavailable
As a cancer physician for the past 35 years, I always tried to prescribe the most effective treatment for my patients. As a recipient of Australia’s vaccine strategy, I expect to receive the least effective of the vaccine candidates (AstraZeneca). There are also questions about its effectiveness against newer strains of the virus and its value in the elderly. Most concerningly, it is reported to be unlikely to produce herd immunity, so a second round of vaccination with a better agent may be required before Australia can be reopened to the world.

I agree with the article “Vaccine strategy needs urgent rethink” (2/2). In a pandemic, we should not insist on TGA review of every vaccine, which results in a delay in availability and is considered by pharmaceutical companies to be an expensive, bureaucratic hurdle. The TGA should work co-operatively with other expert international regulators to facilitate rapid review and approval of vaccines.

Anthony Fauci chose to receive the Moderna vaccine. That’s the one I’d like to receive. If the US government can secure an additional 100 million doses from Pfizer and Moderna, why can’t Australia’s?
Guy Toner, Brighton

Character test
As immigration minister in the Howard government, Kevin Andrews cancelled the visa of Dr Mohamed Haneef on spurious grounds, ensuring the incarceration of the Gold Coast doctor.
Now, all this time later, those involved with the unseating of Andrews at the Liberal preselection for the federal seat of Menzies have finally come to the realisation that it is Andrews who has “⁣failed the character test”⁣.
Peter Crossing, Glengowrie, SA

Business as usual
Once again the rogue military rulers of Myanmar have raised their ugly heads. Once again western democracies go through the motion of condemning the military coup. Once again before the bad smell of the military takeover has subsided the western democracies will be back to do business as usual with the rogue regime. Please correct me if I got that wrong.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW

Trump must be envious
Donald Trump must be envious of the relative ease by which Myanmar’s democratic election result was overturned – as compared to his own failed attempts to achieve the same outcome in the United States. Attempts which now have him subject to an impeachment trial by the Senate for inciting an insurrection.
Garry Meller, Bentleigh

Silently moving forward
As did AGL’s Markus Brokhof (“How is Australia travelling with the switch to electric cars?”⁣, 1/2), I also bought a modest five-year-old secondhand electric car from Japan. A range of about 130km seems small, but that covers more than 95 per cent of my trips. Bev sits in the driveway much of the time, plugged into a house power point sipping power at a cost of about four cups of coffee a month. We sit at traffic lights with no sound but that of the radio and the ventilation fan. When the lights change she responds instantly, no lag, noise or smell, capable of accelerating like a rabbit into a gap in fast freeway traffic.

Foot off the accelerator or apply some brake and watch the energy pumping back into the battery, rather than wearing out brake pads. Smooth, no fuss. No clutch, gearbox, belts, filters, catalytic converter, particulate filter, exhaust pipe, silencer, spark plugs, injectors, carburettor, fuel pump, distributor, nothing getting hot, expanding and contracting. As prices drop and technology is increasing range, we have left the internal combustion marketplace.
John Poppins, Mount Waverley

Call out misinformation
The federal government is to spend $24 million on an advertising campaign to support the take-up of vaccines, and $1.9 billion overall to ensure the population is vaccinated. At the same time, Scott Morrison refuses to call out his own party’s Craig Kelly for his continued misinformation about vaccines, the denigrating of mask-wearing and his dangerous promotion of drugs, which health experts have debunked.

It is disingenuous for Morrison to deflect responsibility onto the public by suggesting we listen to our doctor, not the Member for Hughes. The government is spending $24 million to sell the facts, yet one of his parliamentarians is undermining the message by telling lies. If he were serious about promoting the vaccine, Morrison would censure Kelly.
Fiona Colin, Malvern East

Media the key
Your editorial (“⁣Time to repair the chinks in our democracy”⁣, 1/2), was informative and accurate, except for one glaring omission: any mention of the media. Most election money donated under and over the table is spent in the media, both social and commercial. The media has a duty to tell the truth, but where in the last election was Clive Palmer called out for his media lies, or his advertising refused? And how do we deal with Murdoch, whose whole modus operandi is fake news, fear and greed? A “⁣strong and credible”⁣ anti-corruption commission should include not just deliberate media misinformation but also withholding of facts. But if we really want a strong democracy we need much better protection for journalists and whistleblowers.
John Laurie, Newport

Poor salesmanship
Peter Hartcher’s article (“⁣Excuse China? We’ll be sorry”, 2/2), is probably correct; we have gone too far to wind the clock back in our relationship with China. Only a change in China’s attitude to the west and its neighbours will be likely to alter what we now experience. That said, the comments by New Zealand’s foreign minister, that Australia should show China some respect, are correct.

Mr Morrison should be aware of Sales 101 – you maintain your relationship with your best customer as best you are able, and if you have problems, discuss diplomatically.

While Hartcher mentions the sudden concerns about foreign interference, he omits detail of what went on before. We know that money donated to political parties buys influence, just as post politics sinecure does, and it directs policy. The far more intuitive souls in the CCP will have been aware of this, and embarked on a program of direct cash donations, and the distribution of a number of positions to former politicians.

Large amounts of cash were shipped into our political system to buy positive outcomes. Maybe the reason for China’s ire is that they thought they had bought us, and are now reacting as they are because those parties did not stay “⁣bought”⁣, despite hanging on to the cash.
Martin Dix, Buffalo

Peril of hidden donations
Scott Morrison declared his win at the last election “⁣a miracle”. But his fairy godmother came in the guise of Clive Palmer who spent millions promoting his party while relentlessly attacking Labor. David Crowe (“⁣Liberals, Nationals lead cash race”⁣, 2/2) rightly warns of corruption from massive hidden donations to political parties. But any of our billionaires are free to set up a faux “⁣party”⁣ with candidates having no real chance of winning a seat. Political advertising can then be legitimately shaped to target whoever they choose. This tactic has worked once; what is to prevent it happening again?
Peter McCarthy, Mentone



Apologetic. Ashamed. Remorseful. Not Proud Eddie.
Nicholas Melaluka, Fairfield

Nothing to be proud of. Much to be ashamed of.
Tony Lenten, Glen Waverley

Eddie, make today an even prouder day. Apologise, accept responsibility and resign.
Lauryn Paget, Mount Evelyn

The Collingwood club song should be upgraded to “side by side we’ll sledge together …”
John Bye, Elwood

Eddie McGuire has outspun even Donald Trump!
David Seal, Balwyn North

Collingwood shows its true colours – more white than black.
Kevan Porter, Alphington

It’s been 28 years since Nicky Winmar called out racism at Victoria Park, and yet here we are.
Jenny Bone, Surrey Hills

Eddie, you’ve done it again! Another case, this time, both feet in mouth. A simple apology would have been appropriate, wouldn’t it?
Wendy Poulier, Ferntree Gully

Now for the other clubs to run the same review as Collingwood.
Steve Melzer, Hughesdale

Good call in Menzies, Josh: consistent, conservative and out of touch.
Ralph Tabor, Pakenham

Is Scott Morrison an Australian version of King Canute? Expressing hope to deal with the incoming tide of climate change? Can he not express a plan?
David Lougher, Caroline Springs

Scott Morrison: hydro is not hydrogen, gas is not renewable, and zero requires commitment.
Malcolm Cameron, Camberwell

Let’s simply begin by removing the Union Jack from our flag.
Lindsay Donahoo, Wattle Glen

Given our reluctance to be a republic, the most appropriate date for our national day is the Queen’s birthday in June.
Nick Jans, Marysville

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