Tom Elliot

This is a letter I fired off to Tom Elliott, radio presenter on 3AW in Melbourne, in response to rant and sometimes vicious talkback about the ANZ bank, launching a policy that will require the bank to hire 4% indigenous people.

Dear Tom.

Listening to the discussion this afternoon about the Bank policy to employ a (small) percentage of indigenous workers, was cringeworthy. Not for the reasons most of the bigoted racists who called in to agree with your outrage, but because you are capable of a much more noble stance on this issue. The amount of Indian, Chinese and Pakistani workers in my bank for instance far outweighs other ethnicities in the community and I think it only fair and indeed righteous that this bank decide to make a stance to encourage our indigenous workers to their ranks.

This isn’t racist or political correctness gone mad, this is fair dinkum and a fair go…this is a great Australian hand up, not a hand out.The bank should be applauded.

Go inside the Laiki Bank or the Arab Bank in the CBD and count the Greeks and the Egyptians working the counter…plenty of ethnic disparity there old mate. I’m not saying this is right or wrong. It’s just a fact. Surely this policy is meant to encourage Aboriginal students to the ranks of the banking industry?

This is surely to be seen as our multi nationals encouraging our Aboriginals to look to the banking sector for a career?

The way this was presented on your program, served only to alienate Aboriginals from the argument, not at all was it structured to be inclusive. We need to encourage our indigenous population, not further alienate them. The spurious argument that it’s reverse racism is just a tool for bigoted and racist haters to stand up and wave their arms for 5 seconds of pathetic notoriety. This discussion needs encouragement, not bleating about equal rights. We all need to stand up for our Aboriginal community here in Melbourne. WE need to encourage everybody to excel, not shame them because of their Aboriginality. I know there are members of the aboriginal community that are working hard to be inclusive and have pride in themselves and and their accomplishments and in their families and in their communities.

You, wether you like it or not, are a leader in this community and I believe that you should, as much as you can, encourage the good work and look for gems among the shit that we’re usually dished up. Our Indigenous, our Aboriginals are ours, they’re Australians, they’re unique to US and we should be proud to be among those that encourage, inspire and empower them all. Anything less is beneath our honour and our spirit of goodwill.

I’m a typical white Melbournian bloke with two very proud Aboriginal men in my family. I have nothing but praise for these men and they have shown me another way of thinking, a less racist way and a more inclusive way of understanding.

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