Respect our history
THE trees along the Western Highway were already about 50 years old when the Magna Carta was signed in 1215.
So why is white and European heritage, such as Notre Dame in Paris, so sacrosanct - while sacred Aboriginal heritage is worthless?
Recently heavy machinery and security guards have arrived on site.
A recording of a conversation between security guards is available via the Djab Wurrung Embassy Facebook page.
This shocking conversation reflects a general attitude prevalent among white Australians for 231 years, still widespread and entrenched today.
I believe we must try to bridge the void. We must honour Djab Wurrung culture and reroute the highway, which does not have to smash this sacred grove.
This incredibly important site should become a place of pilgrimage and visitation - with the permission and guidance of the Djab Wurrung, of course.
Just imagine being guided around this ancient living grove, awed by the majesty and splendour of the Sacred Trees, listening to the Djab Wurrung legends.
It would engender respect for Aboriginal people, culture and history which is so sorely needed in Australia. A "win-win" situation.
People would come from all over the world to have such a marvellous experience. We just need to change our collective attitudes.
Claire Bettington, Maroubra, NSW
I AM pleased to report to readers of the Ararat Advertiser and Stawell Times-News a significant change to the law which I believe will better protect children.
Under the law passed in Parliament, religious and spiritual leaders must report child abuse to authorities, even if it was heard in the confessional.
The new law delivers on a key election commitment and means people in religious ministries are now mandated reporters to child protection and the confessional seal must be lifted for suspected sexual abuse of children.
Priests and spiritual leaders in religious ministries will now join teachers, police, medical practitioners, nurses, school counsellors, early childhood and youth justice workers as mandated reporters.
In addition, the new laws ensure disclosures of abuse during religious confession are not exempt under the Failure to Disclose offence contained in the Crimes Act - meaning those who don't report abuse face up to three years in prison.
These changes - supported by all parties in the Parliament - mean that Victoria is a safer place for children because special treatment for churches has come to an end.
As a society, we can't undo the harm to so many children in the past, but this will help ensure it never happens again.
Jaala Pulford, Member for Western Victoria