A tweet by Victoria’s deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Annaliese van Diemen on the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s arrival in Australia, which provoked a furious response from right-wing culture warriors, has led to a greater awareness of the legacy of colonialism, writes Chloe DS.
Captain Cook has loomed large in the federal government’s 2018 budget. The government has allocated $48.7 million over four years to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Cook’s voyage to the South Pacific in 1770. The funding has been widely debated on social media as another fray in Australia’s culture wars, particularly in the context of $84 million in cuts to the ABC.
About 50 people rallied on October 2 in a show of solidarity with the peoples of West Papua, and to protest the ongoing genocide and dispossession that has been carried out by a rapacious Indonesian state against the Indigenous population since the 1960s.
After some spirited speeches, including by members of the small local West Papuan community in exile, the rally set off for a short march from Town Hall to the New South Wales Parliament.
The rally also expressed its support for: