Wed. May 29th, 2024

Cancel culture debate hits Port Macquarie with Indigenous pressure to remove statue of Edmund Barton<!-- wp:html --><div></div> <div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">An Indigenous wedding celebrant wants a ‘racist’ statue of Australia’s first prime minister removed from the waterfront of a regional town for being ‘offensive’.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Arlene Mehan is behind an attempt to remove the statue of Sir Edmund Barton from the Town Green Park on Port Macquarie’s waterfront.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Though Mehan has been pushing for it to be removed for years, not everyone agrees and the statue’s exit is not certain.</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Arlene Mehan is behind an attempt to remove the statue of Sir Edmund Barton from the Town Green Park on Port Macquarie’s waterfront</p> </div> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">The statue was not erected until 2001 as the focus of a local project about Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton</p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">It was not set up until 2001 as the focus of a local project about Barton.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">His statue is the latest monument to an important historical figure to be removed in recent years due to past “racist” actions.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Barton, Prime Minister from 1901 to 1903, is widely regarded as a key architect of White Australia policy.</p> <div class="mol-img-group floatRHS"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Barton, Prime Minister from 1901 to 1903, is widely accepted as a key architect of White Australia policy</p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">He also said publicly that he believed white people were superior and that “racial equality” did not exist.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">‘[Other] Races are, compared to white races – I don’t think anyone wants to be convinced of this – unequal and inferior,” Barton once said.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Mehan states that the presence of the monument in the park is confrontational for the local indigenous population.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“It is insulting to glorify this man who represents racist ideologies in this holy place.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Edmund Barton was explicitly racist,” she said. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Town Green was a burial ground for the local Birpai indigenous people before colonization.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Options other than removal have been suggested to the local council of Port Macquarie-Hastings, including the installation of educational signage explaining Barton’s views.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">If the statue is removed, it could be placed outside the local Port Macquarie court, as Barton became a Supreme Court justice after his tenure as Prime Minister.</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">The statue of William Crowther, who removed the skull of Aboriginal William Lanne in 1869 and sent it to London nine years before he became Prime Minister of Tasmania, is being demolished.</p> </div> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Indigenous journalist Narelda Jacobs joins debate over removal of ‘racist’ historic statues </p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Mehan gathered 4,383 signatures in a petition to have Barton’s statue removed in 2020 and presented it to the Port Macquarie-Hastings council.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">She also campaigned against a statue of NSW’s fifth governor, Lachlan Macquarie, after whom the town is named.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">It is believed that Macquarie issued orders that led to the massacre of 14 Aboriginal people at Appin in 1816. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">In August, the statue of former Tasmanian Prime Minister William Crowther was due to be demolished.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Crowther removed the skull of Aboriginal William Lanne in 1869 and sent it to London for nine years before becoming Prime Minister.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Removing the statue from Franklin Square, in Hobart’s CBD, will cost about $20,000, but there are also plans to move it elsewhere.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Crowther is also said to have unearthed the remains of other Aboriginal Tasmanians, including a seven-year-old girl named Mathinna.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">In August, Indigenous journalist Narelda Jacobs joined the debate over the removal of “racist” historical statues on The Project.</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group mol-hidden-caption"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Who is that person and who is more worthy of being there?” she said about Crowther. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Steve Price, co-host of the project, argued that everyday Aussies are happy to see historical figures honored with statues and don’t want history to be “erased.” </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">There is also interest from Indigenous groups in removing the status of Captain James Cook, the first European to map New Zealand, and encountering Australia’s east coast.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Another that has come into view is the statue of British businessman Robert Towns, after whom Townsville is named. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">It is believed that Towns was involved in the exploitation of workers in the Pacific in the 19th century, which some believe to include kidnappings and forced labor.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">A counter-view was that colonial statues should remain – however the subject is now viewed – so that they can spark debates about history and memories of atrocities.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Daily Mail Australia approached Port Macquarie-Hastings Municipality for comment.</p> </div><!-- /wp:html -->

An Indigenous wedding celebrant wants a ‘racist’ statue of Australia’s first prime minister removed from the waterfront of a regional town for being ‘offensive’.

Arlene Mehan is behind an attempt to remove the statue of Sir Edmund Barton from the Town Green Park on Port Macquarie’s waterfront.

Though Mehan has been pushing for it to be removed for years, not everyone agrees and the statue’s exit is not certain.

Arlene Mehan is behind an attempt to remove the statue of Sir Edmund Barton from the Town Green Park on Port Macquarie’s waterfront

The statue was not erected until 2001 as the focus of a local project about Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton

It was not set up until 2001 as the focus of a local project about Barton.

His statue is the latest monument to an important historical figure to be removed in recent years due to past “racist” actions.

Barton, Prime Minister from 1901 to 1903, is widely regarded as a key architect of White Australia policy.

Barton, Prime Minister from 1901 to 1903, is widely accepted as a key architect of White Australia policy

He also said publicly that he believed white people were superior and that “racial equality” did not exist.

‘[Other] Races are, compared to white races – I don’t think anyone wants to be convinced of this – unequal and inferior,” Barton once said.

Mehan states that the presence of the monument in the park is confrontational for the local indigenous population.

“It is insulting to glorify this man who represents racist ideologies in this holy place.

“Edmund Barton was explicitly racist,” she said.

Town Green was a burial ground for the local Birpai indigenous people before colonization.

Options other than removal have been suggested to the local council of Port Macquarie-Hastings, including the installation of educational signage explaining Barton’s views.

If the statue is removed, it could be placed outside the local Port Macquarie court, as Barton became a Supreme Court justice after his tenure as Prime Minister.

The statue of William Crowther, who removed the skull of Aboriginal William Lanne in 1869 and sent it to London nine years before he became Prime Minister of Tasmania, is being demolished.

Indigenous journalist Narelda Jacobs joins debate over removal of ‘racist’ historic statues

Mehan gathered 4,383 signatures in a petition to have Barton’s statue removed in 2020 and presented it to the Port Macquarie-Hastings council.

She also campaigned against a statue of NSW’s fifth governor, Lachlan Macquarie, after whom the town is named.

It is believed that Macquarie issued orders that led to the massacre of 14 Aboriginal people at Appin in 1816.

In August, the statue of former Tasmanian Prime Minister William Crowther was due to be demolished.

Crowther removed the skull of Aboriginal William Lanne in 1869 and sent it to London for nine years before becoming Prime Minister.

Removing the statue from Franklin Square, in Hobart’s CBD, will cost about $20,000, but there are also plans to move it elsewhere.

Crowther is also said to have unearthed the remains of other Aboriginal Tasmanians, including a seven-year-old girl named Mathinna.

In August, Indigenous journalist Narelda Jacobs joined the debate over the removal of “racist” historical statues on The Project.

“Who is that person and who is more worthy of being there?” she said about Crowther.

Steve Price, co-host of the project, argued that everyday Aussies are happy to see historical figures honored with statues and don’t want history to be “erased.”

There is also interest from Indigenous groups in removing the status of Captain James Cook, the first European to map New Zealand, and encountering Australia’s east coast.

Another that has come into view is the statue of British businessman Robert Towns, after whom Townsville is named.

It is believed that Towns was involved in the exploitation of workers in the Pacific in the 19th century, which some believe to include kidnappings and forced labor.

A counter-view was that colonial statues should remain – however the subject is now viewed – so that they can spark debates about history and memories of atrocities.

Daily Mail Australia approached Port Macquarie-Hastings Municipality for comment.

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