Letters to the editor, July 12

Welfare of feral horses

Having spent a fair bit of time over the years in the rain-shadow eastern parts of Kosciuszko National Park, I’ve witnessed the ever-growing population of horses. On two occasions while camped at Merambego, I saw horse trailers come into the park and leave without the horses they had carried.

With the current drought, part of an inevitable cycle, food is going to be a problem. A few weeks ago there was hardly any feed. What happens if, typically, the drought tightens its grip? Will NPWS begin to feed the starving horses?

And I note the RSPCA prosecute landowners who don’t attend to the welfare of animals. Will they consider action against NPWS for maintaining unsustainable numbers of feral animals without due regard for their welfare?

John Blay, Eden 

Acting on homelessness

Like many people I often take councils to task for bad decisions.

However I would like to thank and congratulate all councillors particularly Kristy McBain for not only putting youth homelessness on the agenda but actually deciding to do something about it.

Before moving here five years ago I worked for 40 years in Sydney CBD, the capital of homelessness. One lady used to sleep standing up during the day with her little trolley on Town Hall Station.

I could never say no to anyone who was suffering. Cost me a lot of money but I slept well every night.

Another time I was required to work on a Sunday so I pulled my motorbike up on the footpath. Blocking me was a very large cardboard box so I tried to kick it out of the way and there was a loud scream. There was an old lady sleeping in the box.

I thought when I moved here I would never see that side of life again. However homelessness particularly for youth is worse here because there are little if any options. I know one young man down here who spent Valentines night with his girlfriend sleeping under cardboard in a park.

We are all charged with the care of children not just their families who in a lot of cases are dysfunctional. All these young homeless people are looking for a hand up not a hand out. Ask yourself what you would do if these were members of your family. Then do something don’t just talk about it.

As a community we need to get together and come up with solutions before we lose a generation of children

Frank Pearce, Bega

NAIDOC Week

This week, July 8-15, is NAIDOC week across Australia. Following this year’s theme of “because of her, we can” I want to tell you about the importance of women in all the work I do especially within my Aboriginal Services.

Women play a significant role in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and this NAIDOC week we are asked to reflect on their contribution to the growth and development of our country.

For at least 65,000 years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have carried dreaming stories, songlines, languages and knowledge. In more recent times they have been there at the forefront of major turning points in Australian culture and history. From the Torres Strait Pearlers strike in 1936, to the 1967 Referendum - which included Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples in Australia’s population figures – to more modern issues such as the 2008 apology, Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander women have been a driving force for Aboriginal rights.

Having strong female role models is absolutely crucial to helping young people grow, not only is it important for young women, but young men draw so much from mothers, grandmothers, aunties and friends. We have so much to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their culture. 

Father Chris Riley, CEO Youth Off The Streets

CULTURE: Pambula's Nathan Lygon after the Ocean Dreaming Dance Group's performance at Katungal Medical Service's NAIDOC Week celebrations.

CULTURE: Pambula's Nathan Lygon after the Ocean Dreaming Dance Group's performance at Katungal Medical Service's NAIDOC Week celebrations.