The British high commissioner to Australia Vicki Treadell has said that in order for the UK to move forward it needs to acknowledge its colonial impact and the effects it’s had on Indigenous populations in areas like Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Speaking at the National Press Club on Wednesday, the high commissioner Treadell talked about Britain’s journey beyond colonialism saying that she agreed with Australian foreign minister Penny Wong that both countries need to have a frank discussion on the effect British colonialism has had in Australia and Internationally to establish were the countries are today.
“We must frame ourselves for who we are today.
We must not let others constrain us in a past reality..
Just as brevity is the enemy of complexity, the story of modern Britain is distilled by distance.
A post card of a painting that never was.
To understand modern Britain is to understand that we must project with pride our multi-cultural reality,” The commissioner said.
Treadell also took the time to discuss the issue of multiple British institutions and museums holding onto Indigenous artefacts from a wide array of different cultures.
The high commissioner said that “if life was simple” more British institutions would follow in the footsteps laid out by Cambridge Trinity College and their decision to return the Kamay spears to the Gwegal people of Botany Bay last week.
Treadell said that by doing so, Britain and past colonies would be able to forge a better relationship going forward.
“We can dig around and open old wounds, when actually this should be about healing and moving forward and actually respecting each other for who we are today,” she said.
Image Credit: National Press Club