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Aboriginal Cultural Centre should be recognised April 7, 2006

Posted by campsovereignty in Press Statements.

Following last nights' Melbourne City Council meeting and the unanimous resolution to continue discussions around the future of Camp Sovereignty, residents at Kings Domain have called for the site to be formally recognised as a Sacred Site under the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Heritage Act.

"This site should be recognised for what it is, and what it has always been; a traditional place of healing, peace and justice. It is in the interest of all Victorians to have a place where people can come to learn about our culture." said Camp Sovereignty representative Robbie Thorpe today.

"Given that 80% of international tourists want to experience Aboriginal culture while they are here, it makes sense to have a place within the Melbourne cultural precinct dedicated to traditional Aboriginal culture."

"The Sacred Fire that is burning here is representative of the oldest known cultural ceremony on this planet. It is essential that the fire is managed in a traditional way in a site that is of spiritual significance to Aboriginal people."

"The benefits to having this Sacred Fire have already become evident with local Police reportedly experiencing quieter Melbourne streets in regards to homeless people and parkies. The realisation that traditional law was in place a stones throw from the city centre has resonated throughout the community. Now parkies are visiting the Fire, seeing their culture at work and feeling that just maybe there is a place for them in this so-called modern world."

"The Government needs to recognise this site under the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Heritage Act immediately and continue constructive discussions between all parties to ensure that this site and the Sacred Fire are treated with the proper dignity and respect as accorded under the Australian Constitution."



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