Coober Pedy News No. 48
23 January 2004
Letters to Editor
I was taught from the earliest age that guests are special. As a child,
when guests came to our home, we shared with them the best of what we
had. Sometimes it was with a grudging respect, especially if we didn't
much like them, or they frightened us, though we would never, even for
a moment let our guests know if this were the case.
We were not a religious family, nor a particularly wealthy one, these
were not our motives. We cared for our guests because not to do so
would betray the most profound essence of our humanity. We shared with
our guests because they reminded us of who we are, what we believe,
what we value and what we want most for ourselves — the best we can
offer. In my family's values our guests became who we were: respected
members of our family, our town, our nation, our civilization. If only
for a moment in time spent with us.
In Nauru, in Port Hedland, in Villawood we Australians have guests. I,
as an Australian, have guests. For how long they will stay is unknown,
many are uninvited, some may be not what they seem, some may return from
where they came, but for however long they are my guests they are a
special category of me. I must, by all that is most human, offer them
what is best of me as I would for my own children. My people are in
prison. Let them go.
To do so is not merely a mark of a caring civilisation it is the mark
of our deepest respect for ourselves and for our own humanity.
My people are in prison. Let my people go.
31 Rosary Street
Highgate Hill Qld 4101
Telephone: (07) 3844 3078