Friday 5 July 2019

Language My Friend

This is a short one since I want to make one important point: Language matters! One reason why we as climbers are in this mess about climbing access in Gariwerd is the lack of respect or simply carelessness when we talk and write. The City of Greater Bendigo wrote a good Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols Guide which every climber needs to read.
We as a climbing community have used words which weren't helpful and Dave Reeve from the ACAQ puts it quite nicely:

"Shun the spotlight of the media circus and the political clowns that act in the ring of popular appeal."

I don't think keeping this access issue in the mainstream media is beneficial for us climbers - quite the opposite. This whole situation isn't happening because of environmental concerns but Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. Tabloid-style posts are not showcasing us as good stewards of culture and environment. A couple of imprudent words in an article or interview can easily drive us further away from the crag. And putting a disclaimer on an insensitive post doesn't change the content of that post. 

Stop making noise and start listening - especially to the Traditional Owners. This is the step in the right direction.

Cheers 🍻

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