A cruel blow to our Indigenous community

Credit:Illustration: Cathy Wilcox

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A cruel blow to our Indigenous community

I feel so upset. How must our First Nations people feel? Whilst it is great that Premier Dan Andrews has offered up to $1 billion to rebuild the Maroondah Hospital in Melbourne’s east (The Age 19/9), why does he need to change its name to Queen Elizabeth II? This is a terrible blow for our First Nations People: taking away a Woiwurrung name and replacing it with the name of the Queen.

Elizabeth became Queen because she was born into the right family, not because she did anything to deserve that position. And the family that she was born into was responsible for the colonisation of Australia and all the trauma that brought to our First Nations people. Now Andrews wants to rub in the dominance of this family by exchanging the name ‘Maroondah’ for a name linked to the oppressors of our First People. Perhaps the irony escaped him. I hope he thinks again and reverses this decision.
Bron Dahlstrom, Inverloch

Are we still obliged to pledge our loyalty?

I am very pleased that the premier plans to rebuild the Maroondah Hospital. Just one thing: the proposed name change is well out of order. The Queen Elizabeth II Hospital? Really? After all that has been written and said about this anachronistic institution to which, apparently, we are obliged to pledge our obedience and loyalty.
We owe the deceased Queen nothing. Our state is named after her great-grandmother, in tandem with hundreds of place and street names. I could actually live with The Victoria State Hospital or similar, but Queen Elizabeth II? Wake up, Mr Premier.
Simon Clegg, Donvale

A lesson in how to alienate many Victorians

Daniel Andrews’ decision to rename the Maroondah Hospital to honour the Queen is blatantly wrong and reflects a skewed perspective of the electorate. I urge him to desist as we, non-Indigenous people, need visible references to the First Nations.

According to Maroondah City Council’s website, “Maroondah is an Aboriginal word that means ‘throwing’ and ‘Maroon’ means ’leaves‴⁣⁣. Andrews needs to realise that stomping on the cultural references to Indigenous people will alienate many Victorians.
Marcellene D’Menzie, Clifton Hill

A very risky move so close to the state election

I would like to know by what civil authority or instrument the Premier, Daniel Andrews, has used to declare unilaterally the names for municipal properties. Does this mean that he can name police stations and state schools if he so chooses?

With the state government election due shortly and the state being in a relatively good position, I feel confident that now there is a choice, I can change my vote from ALP 1, Greens 2 to independent 1, Greens 2. My friends feel the same. How ironic that a loss in the vote for state Labor would be due to the ill-conceived name for a public hospital as opposed anything else arguably more serious. Think again premier, at least put the decision out to a committee with an Indigenous voice.
Monica Lockheed, Doncaster East

And we like to call ourselves ’the progressive state’

We have our own Tony Abbott here in Victoria. The premier wants to replace the Aboriginal word “Maroondah” with Queen Elizabeth II. This is very disappointing for the progressive state.
Bridget Carbines, North Fitzroy

Proud to go to the Uncle Jack Charles Hospital

Let’s rename the proposed new Maroondah Hospital after former Victorian of the Year, Uncle Jack Charles, rather than yet another memorial to Queen Elizabeth II.
Ian Maddison, Parkdale


Why I’m not a monarchist

That the Queen was a dignified older woman who took her role seriously is not in doubt. We are all a little sad at her passing. However, do we need endless pages in The Age discussing the minutiae of her life? How much more will we grovel?

The Queen’s personal fortune is estimated to be $426 million (nothing to do with the Crown Jewels or Buckingham Palace), yet only a few blocks from Buckingham Palace homeless people are sleeping in doorways. The UK public health and education systems are in an even more parlous state than our own.
Perhaps if the Queen bequeathed some of her fortune to charities in the UK or to poorer countries in the Commonwealth, rather than to Charles III (estimated fortune $440 million), I would be more disposed towards a monarchy.
Brendan Monigatti, Hepburn Springs

Cruel and dismissive

I am disappointed that Richard Flanagan, a man and a writer I have long admired, has written a cruel and unjust article about the Queen and the monarchy (Opinion, 17/9). She sought neither position.

Not only is his account of history a biased one but to be dismissive of the Queen herself and to unjustly call her “only a little old lady” is an insult. Such a phrase is dismissive at the very least. I am an elderly person but would not presume to call myself, or want others to refer to me, as a “lady”, but a woman.

I well know that Richard Flanagan is a man but he can scarcely call himself a “gentleman” (the opposite of “lady”) for this unworthy article.
Frances Awcock, Melbourne

The issues that matter

The Age’s coverage of the Queen’s passing has taken us through every exhaustive detail – even the passing of her corgi, Candy (19/9) and, earlier, the advice of her dog’s specialist. Meanwhile millions of children are facing a slow, horrible death in Pakistan due to contaminated floodwaters caused by climate change. There is next to no coverage of this catastrophe in your newspaper. Shame.
Zoe Darmos, Rosanna

Having it both ways

I privately paid a small homage to the long-serving Queen. I then sent a small donation to the Australian Republic Movement.
Carol Reed, Newport

I’m not faking my MS

The MCC has suddenly announced that members with a disability “who wish to join the accessible entry queue” to the grand final must “provide recent medical documentation (within three months) to the club by email or post by 5pm AEST on Wednesday, September 21″.

I have had multiple sclerosis for over 20 years. Just to see me slowly moving about with my mobility aids is usually enough evidence for reasonable people. None of my medical support team has had to confirm my disability in writing within the last 90 days. To have the MCC essentially suggest I am faking it to get quicker entry to an event is both humiliating and an an insult to my integrity. Those who think society has advanced in the last 50 years are obviously wrong. Maybe we need to get rid of the stale, old, white men who run our club.
Matthew Gilbert, Hampton Park

A great winner but …

The Brownlow system of choosing the best player for a given year is flawed. This year’s winner, Carlton captain Patrick Cripps, was an outstanding performer in a mediocre team and therefore had no competition within his side for votes each match. However, in the Melbourne side there existed two very good players who competed against each other week in and week out, and were constantly at or very near the top of the list with votes. If these two players were in different sides they would have amassed even more votes and one would have surely taken out the Brownlow as it stands now. They might have even dead-heated. Under these circumstances this year’s winner had a hollow victory. (I am a North Melbourne supporter.)
Jim Furness, Mordialloc

Gambling saturation

I was absolutely appalled when watching the Brownlow Medal coverage on Channel Seven on Sunday night. There were promotions for betting on every aspect of the count. Who would get three votes in every game, who would be in the lead at specific times of the count etc. Each of these was followed by the pathetic comment, “Please remember to gamble responsibly”.

It is disgraceful that the media and the AFL are happy to raise billions of dollars of revenue from this advertising and sponsorship. Is it any wonder that many people, especially the young and impressionable, are falling into bad gambling habits?
Bev Goss, Parkdale

A discriminatory ban

I become concerned when I read about people such as the Ukrainian ambassador to Australia and opposition immigration spokesman Dan Tehan calling for a ban on Russian tourists (Sunday Age, 17/9). Australia is a democracy and I would like to think that discriminating against, and vilifying, people due to their origin is not something we would support.
Robert Witte, Mitcham

Opening Russians’ eyes

There is very good reason for continuing to issue visas to Russians. The only way they can learn the truth about what their government is doing in Ukraine is to visit a free country, whose media and citizens will tell them. They will also learn what decent people think of Vladimir Putin’s regime.
Chris Curtis, Hurstbridge

End all animal cruelty

Your correspondent succinctly identifies the double standards with the treatment of a fish and a puppy (Letters, 19/9). We should consider the sport of “recreational fishing” and recognise it for what it really is – tormenting fish for pleasure or entertainment. It has similarities to duck shooting. In both, animal cruelty issues are swept under the carpet by the sportspeople and our society often condones their activities. I hope that the media attention that is raising these issues will lead us to change how we treat animals.
Leigh Ackland, Deepdene

You can do it again, PM

The prime minister determined, without difficulty, to hold a national public holiday to mourn the Queen’s death. Why is it so hard and protracted to change the date for Australia Day to show respect to Indigenous peoples of Australia who consider January 26 as invasion day? Can the prime minister just make the change.
Cecile Campbell, Brighton East

A chat, smile and donation

Sadly, the experience of The Big Issue vendor whom Alison Davies met in Sorrento (Letters, 19/9) is not unique. Every fortnight I find Gerry, my local vendor, similarly isolated in a busy shopping strip.
In between lockdowns we have become friends, and we talk about many things as most others pass by. Before I leave with the latest issue, he reminds me that I am helping to pay for his hair to be cut or keep food in his cupboard.

My advice to those who are unfamiliar with The Big Issue is to say hello to the vendor. If you can’t afford the $9 price, vendors take donations, smiles, jokes.
Anders Ross, Heidelberg

An urgent need for reform

How the prime minister must rue the day he ruled out changes to capital gains tax, negative gearing and franking credits. Given his ridiculous intransigence on the Liberals’ “legislated” tax cuts, what he wouldn’t give to have those three initiatives in his back pocket. In addition, the broader economic community is calling for changes in those three areas.

He does have at least one other option up his sleeve – death duty, a fair and equitable tax – but given his current timidity, I doubt he will chance his arm. Go on, prime minister, take a chance. You might find you have more support than you think.
Jack Morris, Kennington

Seeking visionary change

I agree with Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe that the federal government needs to either hike taxes, cut spending or undertake structural reform to meet community expectations.

I applaud the call by independent MPs Zoe Daniel and Zali Steggall to increase the parental leave scheme from 18 to 26 weeks (The Age, 19/9) as a example of structural changes.

We haven’t had a reformist government since Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. The current Labor government needs to be brave and visionary to make a lasting impact.
Ikram Naqvi, Tinderbox, Tas

The critical questions

Ross Gittins (Business, 19/9) suggests that the Reserve Bank sees no alternative to raising interest rates to control inflation. He maintains instead that the ‴⁣⁣structural weakness [is] caused by inadequate competitive pressure”. In other words, companies are finding they can charge customers whatever they can get, without fear of being undercut by others.

Is this actually so? And in selected areas of industry, or everywhere? How has it occurred? Can it be controlled? Only if we have the facts can we – meaning the government – act to return competition to its central position in a capitalist society.
Peter Deerson, Mornington

Help the ’ordinary guys’

I fail to understand the federal government rewarding the rich people with huge tax cuts and, on the other hand, not increasing the tax cuts to low-income people. This seems illogical. The government should explain the rationale and, better still, help the ordinary guys.
Alphonso D’Costa, Box Hill North

Joy of watching Roger

Thank you, Greg Baum, for your terrific article on Roger Federer (Sport, 17/9). I loved playing sport but due to severe problems found it hard. When Federer played, I felt better, both physically and mentally.
Ian Wade, Black Rock

Our forgotten citizen

I guess it’s too much to ask if Anthony Albanese could find the time whilst in London to visit Australian citizen Julian Assange in his majesty’s Belmarsh Prison?
Jenny Warfe, Dromana



Albanese merged servility with civility in meeting Charlie and lacked any egalitarian stance .
Des Files, Brunswick

I assume our PM will use this expensive trip to visit Julian Assange and assure him the government is doing everything possible to achieve justice.
Ruben Buttigieg, Mount Martha

What has Queen Elizabeth II done for Australia?
Peter King, Caulfield East

Why do we need half of the ABC over in London? Please explain.
Robert McDonald, Sailors Falls


It could be “reigning” Cats, but not Dogs, for the AFL finals.
Robin Jensen, Castlemaine

Eddie McGuire’s greatest gift to Collingwood was his departure.
Graham Cadd, Dromana

There are Collingwood supporters and the rest who wish they were.
Tony Delaney, Warrnambool

The AFL should admit Tasmania and NT into the competition. There is certainly talent in both.
Francis Bainbridge, Fitzroy North

James Hird says he “should have been over more of the detail” during the supplements sage (18/9). That’s what life is, James.
David Cayzer, Clifton Hill

Love the Colliwobbles.
Damon Ross, St Kilda East


The “new” Maroondah Hospital should be renamed the Republican General Hospital.
David Kerr, Geelong

With such extensive coverage of the Queen and AFL finals, I’m getting the newsworthy part of the paper read in half the time.
Juliet Allen, Coldstream

Angling and game fishing: cruel euphemisms for marine hunting, a relatively safe thrill for the hunter and death for the hunted.
Clarence Mitchell, Brighton

I want Charles on the $5 note – that is, Uncle Jack Charles.
Louis Roller, Fitzroy North

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