If Premier Daniel Andrews and his advisers do not get it – that plans to rename Maroondah Hospital after Queen Elizabeth II is a slap in the face to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria – then, as Jill Gallagher (Comment, 20/9) astutely discerns, “we are in big trouble”. Not least of which because of the staggering dissonance.
Moreover, Gallagher’s insightful psycho-education that naming things in the Aboriginal language “gives us a sense of pride for ourselves and as a people” and makes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people “visible” – rather than “invisible” – makes perfect sense, while the touted name change is indeed another example of cultural erasure brought about by sheer reverence to Queen Elizabeth II in her death.
Here’s hoping that Andrews heeds the informed source of advice proffered by Gallagher before the trust gained in the process of truth-telling and healing hitherto is irretrievably breached and unsalvageable.
Jelena Rosic, Mornington
Let the people decide on change
Good one, Daniel Andrews. Let’s spend money on changing a well-known hospital name, upsetting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples and absolutely quashing advancement of the treaty. Let’s put a vote to Victorians on what they think of a name change.
Trisch Dickinson, Red Hill
In your name, you pay for it
There has been much recent correspondence about naming and renaming of hospitals. Now I would have no problem with an entire network of hospitals – in Melbourne and right across the country for that matter – each being named after members of “our” royal family.
However, this is contingent on “them” paying for the privilege. Naming rights invoking kings, queens, princes and princesses – past and present – could be granted to each and every brand-spanking new hospital they care to construct and fund in their Australian dominion.
Let them decide. This would be a massive win-win, given that it would involve expenditure only of a tiny percentage of their enormous accumulated wealth. Tony Gerard, Warragul
Could it be an election ploy?
The decision to rename Maroondah Hospital is not only insulting to Indigenous people, but made without any explanation or community consultation at all. It appears to have been made in haste on the death of the Queen. It reminds me of another stupid decision by the premier, that of giving over part of Federation Square to an Apple megastore. Let’s hope this hospital renaming idea goes the same way. Anyone would think there was an election on the horizon.
Tony Healy, Balwyn North
Ashamed to be called a Victorian
Premier Daniel Andrews has lost me with the proposal to rename
the Maroondah Hospital as the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital. Colonialism still continues, a disgrace to his government and a blow to the treaty process. I am ashamed to call myself a Victorian.
Julie Ottobre, Forest Hill
The premier’s missed opportunity
An opportunity has been lost. Daniel Andrews could have been the first in Australia – indeed, the world – to name it the King Charles III Hospital. It’s not too late. He’s already lost the Indigenous vote. But he’ll gain from the monarchists. David Allen, Bayswater North
Headed in the wrong direction
Maroondah Hospital informs everyone of its location. What is the point of changing the name to Queen Elizabeth? Her majesty is interred at Windsor Castle. Ruth Wilson, Ringwood North
It is likely that a new debate on an Australian republic will quickly become another battle in the culture wars between those advocating minimal change to our constitutional arrangements and those wanting more significant reform such as a popularly elected president.
The former will be regarded as privileged elites, only interested in symbolism, while the latter will be seen as populists who do not understand the implications of what they propose.
The lack of progress on unifying republicans since the 1999 referendum referred to in the article, ″PM right to be cautious on change″ (21/9), reflects the growing polarisation in Australian society between those who think they know best, and those who are sick and tired of being lectured to. Rod Wise, Surrey Hills
Premier’s own goal
Jill Gallagher (Comment 21/9) articulates clearly why Dan Andrews’ proposal to change Maroondah Hospital to Queen Elizabeth II Hospital is offensive, insensitive and disrespectful to Indigenous people, (although it actually diminishes us all).
It is particularly ironic coming “against the flow” of renewed hope in reconciliation raised by Anthony Albanese’s desire to implement fully the Uluru Statement from The Heart, Andrews’ own support for a treaty, and increasing acknowledgment of country and Aboriginal names for places. There are other less sensitive options to rename.
It makes no sense to add unnecessary distress to our Indigenous community whose intergenerational trauma and grief already deserve our efforts to help heal, not to exacerbate.
We can all err; but to double down on an error, arrogantly refuse to reconsider in view of consequences, and causing unnecessary division resemble more the style of a Scott Morrison or Donald Trump, and represent an incomprehensible own goal.
Respect costs nothing.
Joe Di Stefano, Geelong
Ditch the change
If Daniel Andrew’s wants to show true leadership before the November elections, he should ditch renaming Maroondah Hospital. As Jill Gallagher implies, this insensitive idea is at odds with Andrews’ commendable treaty proposal and we can hardly afford to further diminish visible symbols of an Aboriginal culture that has existed about 60 times longer than the British monarchy.
Peter Cole, Clifton Hill
Calling the Victorian government’s renaming of Maroondah Hospital ″in honour of the Queen″ a decision probably overstates any thought processes that might have gone into it. It looks more like spur-of-the-moment opportunism.
Lawrie Bradly, Surrey Hills
It’s about treatment
Such shrill outrage at the proposed renaming of Maroondah Hospital. They can rename it ScoMo’s House of Healing for all I care providing I get treated when I am ill. Surely, that is all that really matters. Providing, of course, ScoMo has not appointed himself to the roles of doctor, nurse and porter.
Bernie Tallis, Brighton
The ABC of extravagance
As a long-term ABC Friend, I was surprised and disappointed at the decision to send so many radio and TV presenters to England to cover the royal funeral. When times are tough, it’s sad to witness ″Your ABC″ displaying such unnecessary extravagance.
Bill Clark, Melbourne
The reign of Queen Elizabeth II is being compared to the dominance of Test cricket champion Donald Bradman. Statistically, it could be said to be identical: the Queen needed four more years to reach her century and Bradman needed four more runs in his last innings to notch up his century average.
Kevin Burke, Sandringham
The editorial, ″Ukraine still needs help to repel Putin″, 21/9, rightly remarks that Vladimir Putin’s ostensibly powerful Russian army has been exposed in Ukraine as resembling ″a Cold War relic″. We have been here before. Western-based Kremlinologists had not predicted the rapid collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
That entity’s political, economic and ethnic disintegration, in the especially stagnant era of Leonid Brezhnev’s leadership in the late 1970s and early 1980s, was only really exposed with the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev. It was he who came eventually to realise that Russia and the Federated States represented a ″Potemkin village″, in effect, a stage-set concealing a power rotten to the core.
Ukraine may yet be the least of Putin’s problems.
Jon McMillan, Mount Eliza
A brighter future
Ukraine may need the world’s help in ridding itself of Putin’s invaders, but the impossible now actually looks possible.
Retired general Mick Ryan has done us all a service in explaining just how determined and well-prepared this David is in facing the Russian Goliath (″I met President Zelensky, an even larger presence than social media suggests″, Comment, 20/9).
Looking at the scale of the destruction, the world’s contribution of military aid will seem tiny compared to what will be required to rebuild.
The world’s democracies would do well to learn from the Ukrainian example. As Ryan suggests, competence and confidence can overcome most hurdles.
Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale
Actions not words
It’s good to see federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen will be attending various climate change meetings overseas (“Bowen spruiks climate plan to world”, 21/9). He will attend the American-Australian Indo-Pacific Strategic Dialogue in Washington, DC.
Let’s hope that he and other attendees remember to allow displaced Pacific Islanders (from Kiribati, for example) to come to Australia to live when their islands are affected by rising waters and salination due to climate change.
Boasting about our new climate policy to the world is the easy bit.
Jan Marshall, Brighton
I am heartily sick of all the grovelling talk about the Queen and the monarchy. Let it be over by next week.
She was a pretty good old stick, though I’ve met people whose station in life required much greater courage and hard work. She did all right. Can we leave it at that now?
Patrice McCarthy, West Bendigo
The profit motive
The supposition behind inflation reduction by increasing interest rates is that decreased demand will result in business cutting prices and their profits to keep sales up. I’m happy to be shot down by economists, but couldn’t it also result in businesses putting up their profit margins (and hence prices) to compensate for
Particularly applicable to businesses with a near monopoly – and as consumers we have also been very aware of petrol companies putting up their prices simultaneously in a way that the ACCC has been unable to pin
down to collusion.
Jan Newmarch, Oakleigh
Wading into argument
I attended a country high school west of Geelong in the 1960s. Our English teacher in year 9 (form 3 then) planned an activity where each class member had to choose a famous person. You then had to get in an imaginary boat lost at sea with two other famous people. Given that the boat only had enough food and water for one person, you had to argue to the class why you should remain while the other two were thrown overboard.
I found myself in the boat with Elvis Presley and the Queen. I was Doug Wade, the great Geelong full-forward at the time.
The class voted the Queen and Elvis out of the boat. I’d like to think that my eloquent argument that Wade was more important than the other two swayed the students’ thinking. Perhaps it also helped that the class was full of Cats supporters.
Phil Alexander, Eltham
Songs in the key of life
Thank you Tony Wright for reviving childhood memories of my extended family singing around the piano (″Past is present, and perhaps the future″, 17/9). I also had an aunt with a beautiful voice and Danny Boy was ever present. Precious memories indeed.
Diana Ferguson, Burwood
Some things must change
If Australia had become a republic on September 10, we would just be recovering from our celebratory hangovers and realise nothing has changed – the headline: ″Aboriginal man dies in custody, the second in Victoria in just over a month″ (The Age, 14/9). This is not my republic of Australia. Hang our heads in shame.
Ronald Elliott, Sandringham
Too little to fight gambling
The latest announcement from the Victorian government on gambling restrictions at Crown casino will do little to reduce the level of gambling across the state. Why has no attention be given to hotels and other sporting clubs to restrict and reduce their number of poker machines?
Only about 10 per cent of losses occur at Crown while the number of machines at hotels and clubs impact and create levels of poverty, violence, family breakdown and stress that creates increased costs for our health and legal systems.
Governments and communities have known for years the devastating impact and costs of poker machines but continue to turn a blind eye.
Likewise, it is time to call sporting fixtures and television to account also for their brazen promotion of gambling at every sporting event.
Ray Cleary, Camberwell
With all the reverence, respect and sadness displayed following the Queen’s death, will all her portraits, found in halls and offices across the land be treated with the same “respect” or simply end up at the local tip?
Graeme Lindsay, Deloraine, Tas
AND ANOTHER THING
Monarchists now can’t complain that the ABC is too far to the left.
Malcolm McDonald, Burwood
Instead of replacing Queen Elizabeth II’s picture on the $5 note with that of King Charles III, it would be more appropriate to insert the picture of Uncle Jack Charles.
David Ginsbourg, East Bentleigh
Not my queen. Never was, never will be.
Michael Carver, Hawthorn East
Vale QEII but I’ve decided I’m not a mourning person.
Carl Harman, Strathalbyn, SA
The climate is right to ditch the medieval concept of royalty.
Bill Trestrail, St Kilda
In relation to the Resolve poll, so emotion trumps considered commitment. What else is new?
Bernd Rieve, Brighton
Let talk about becoming a republic be put on hold for the time being and just remove the Union Jack from our flag.
Robert Page, Barwon Heads
Come on premier, just say it: ″Sorry. Made a mistake. Maroondah it stays. Let’s move on.“
Greg Malcher, Hepburn Springs
Let’s hope Jill Gallagher’s piece (Comment, 21/9) resonates enough with Daniel Andrews for him to admit his mistake and reverse his decision.
David Brophy, Beaumaris
Would the premier’s colleagues please tell him bluntly – no name change needed.
Hugh McCaig, Blackburn
Surely, there is a new hospital that could be named Queen Elizabeth II, rather than offending and alienating so many by renaming Maroondah Hospital.
Jackie Fristacky, North Carlton
Petrol stations around my area have jumped 50¢ a litre in the space of hours. Any chance of turning the watchdog into an attack dog?
Felix Patton, Mount Martha
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