Voice for all
Warren Mundine’s article (Comment, 20/4) is another example of an Indigenous critic of the Voice being clear about what they don’t want, but not clear about what they do want. If you look at a detailed Indigenous Australia language map, you will see that there are several hundred language groups and sub-groups. I don’t see how they could or should be represented individually at a national level. As I understand it, the Voice will be advising the federal parliament and government on decisions affecting Indigenous people as a whole and thereby giving First Nations the means to deal with issues within their country and it will not be involved in local issues or speaking for Country as Mundine puts it.
Tony Ralston, Balwyn North
Statement of the obvious
Could your correspondent (″Should First Nations’ people vote first?″, Letters, 21/4) be missing something such as the Uluru Statement from the Heart? This was the result of a long, inclusive and exhaustive process by the Indigenous community to propose a Voice. So don’t we already know that the majority of the Indigenous community support the proposed Voice?
Jenny Callaghan, Hawthorn
Parnell Palme McGuinness (Comment, 16/4) argues that in debating the Voice the Liberal Party is ″examining ideas rationally and on merit″. Elsewhere I read that the Liberal Party’s deputy leader Sussan Ley reckons that the Voice is a threat to Anzac Day. Is that ″rational″? No, that’s nonsense.
Honouring Father Bob
In response to the letter “In the Steps of Father Bob” (22/4), I also say no to a state funeral and suggest that the money be used in achieving, in his name, shelter and care for those in need.
A thousand blessings for his life, his leadership, his humour and gregarious nature. Father Bob was never scared of speaking the truth. His understanding and compassion embraced and assisted the downtrodden, destitute, rejected, marginalised and disadvantaged. He welcomed all – he touched the core of humanity.
Father Bob’s life must live on in perpetuity, to aid those in need of shelter, comfort and care.
Perhaps I could suggest the purchase of a “Father Bob House” for the needy or a “Father Bob Day” each year to raise funds for ongoing care.
The possibilities, as Father Bob demonstrated in life, and now in death, are endless.
Not so accessible
Stephen Brook (″On the case to flush out the loveliest loo″, 16/4) writes of the need for a national guide to the location of public toilets. For some of us though the concern is not where the toilet is but rather whether we can independently enter and leave it. I refer to the so-called Accessible Toilets or (oddly) Disabled Toilets.
I am a paraplegic who can safely and independently travel around in an electric wheelchair. But on my own I cannot open and hold open a toilet door that swings towards me; I am reliant on the presence and kindness of strangers.
And this is not an isolated problem. I have encountered it in the National Gallery in Canberra and the recently constructed public library near where I live. I have encountered it in cinemas, restaurants, and in public parks.
There might well be exceptions but on the whole I do not expect to find a truly accessible toilet when I am out and about. Surely we should be able to expect “accessible” to mean that people with special needs can easily locate, enter, use and then leave the facility in question.