Council made the right call on McMillan cairns

Nicholas Tan, Traralgon East


I CONGRATULATE the five Wellington Shire councillors who courageously defied the demands of people to demolish monuments recording Angus McMillan’s exploration of the Gippsland region.

In so doing, the council majority has wisely recognised that these monuments form part of Gippsland’s history.

It is an incontrovertible fact that McMillan’s foray into Gippsland was the catalyst for the development of our region into the modern home of diverse peoples and our flourishing agricultural sector.

That there is also a sinister aspect to McMillan’s actions does not justify erasing all mention of his memory from the landscape.

A more constructive approach to the issue would be to identify appropriate locations and symbols for remembering the Gippsland massacres.

As humans, all of us are imperfect and there will always be shortcomings identified in ourselves and the history we create through our actions.

Future generations will no doubt find aspects of today’s culture that they object to.

But if we are to aspire to become a more enlightened and informed people, we can only do so with a full knowledge of our past, warts and all.

The hysterical demands for the erasure and destruction of statues and history sweeping the world is no different to the genocidal impulses of the Khmer Rouge and its bloody Year Zero Policy.

Australia must be more civilised than that.