CONFLICT RESOLUTION PRACTICES
Published on 25th of June 2019
This paper endeavours to offer an objective assessment of the Australian Government’s conflict resolution practices and its ability to develop Australia’s diversity. First, the paper offers an overview of the historical context of the Australian political leadership and a discussion of how racial discrimination is tackled from legal perspectives. Almost two centuries have passed, but Australia is still in denial, eliminating Aboriginal people through systematically orchestrated genocides. However, Germany had acknowledged the Nazis’ genocides; in 1953, the German government made payments to the Jewish people as a way of acknowledging Germany’s responsibility. In the 21st century, among the western countries, only Australia allows its Parliament to validly enact laws that are racially discriminatory. The current model predominantly focuses on gender and individuality, but lacks adequate structures to manage racial discrimination. There is no obvious evidence that the Australian government has searched for trade-offs, in order to solve the disputes with its First People through negotiations. Having excellent conflict management skills, including negotiation and restorative justice skills will help to improve Australia’s diversity. An interest-based bargaining method identifies individuals or shared interests, instead of focusing on positions. Successful negotiators identify individual or shared interests without disadvantaging others. The discussion seeks to identify the broad features of ‘unified model’ of managing racial discrimination. This paper examines how unified model promotes talents without racial discrimination which is the historical evolution from white Australia policy to true multiculturalism.
Author: Antany Peter.
The brief historical context of the Australian political leadership
After a visit to Australia, Charles Darwin, the 19th-century British biologist and geologist, said, ‘Death pursues the native in every place where the European sets foot’ (Combat Genocide Association 2019). In the 1830s, Solicitor-General Alfred Stephen, later Chief Justice of New South Wales, made a public statement in relation to dealing with ‘the Aboriginal problem’. If the colony could only protects its convict servants from Aboriginal attack by extermination, ‘then I say boldly and broadly, exterminate’. Australia solved its native problem in Tasmania by reaching a final solution. It had succeeded in getting rid of all its Aboriginal people; a few children born to white male seal hunters and Tasmanian Aboriginal women remained alive (Harman 2018). ‘They were an inferior race, a meek and primitive people doomed to die out, and the coming of the English, with their diseases and guns, had merely hastened the inevitable.’ (Flanagan 2002).
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia had settled in this continent at least 40,000 years ago, well before Europeans began their explorations in the 17th century (CIA 2019). When the first 4,200 convicts arrived in Australia, between 1817 and 1840, the Aboriginal population comprised about 600 different social groups speaking about 200 distinct languages and dialects (Jupp 2001). In 1788, the British occupation of Australia began. In 1889, the Government Resident’s reports stated, ‘Entrance into their country is an act of invasion.' Aboriginal people fought hard to defend their land; however, spears and boomerangs proved no match for gunfire. Thousands of Aboriginal people were brutally massacred; even more, died from introduced diseases and sickness. Since the invasion of Australia, they have resisted the colonisation of their land, but the settlers pushed Aboriginal people off the fertile lands into controlled settlements; , and justified their actions by a belief of their superiority (Leacock & Lee 1982).
The First British Settlement in Australia.
The First Fleet landed at Port Jackson on 26 January 1788, and the following month Australia's first European colony was established on 7 February 1788. Captain Arthur Phillip was appointed by the British government as the first Governor of this new prison colony (Australian Electoral Commission).
During the 19th century, a movement to federate the Australian colonies developed around the country, in order to tackle various domestic and international political and economic circumstances effectively. In 1898, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia passed a referendum to federate under an Australian Constitution. The Australian Constitution is the fundamental law which explains how our country is governed. To change this new map of political power requires a referendum. Eventually, in 1899, Queensland supported the federation, and the following year, Western Australia followed suit. The nation of Australia was born on 1 January 1901, with a Federal Parliament to govern the country (Australian Electoral Commission).
In the 18th century, the British began to settle European convicts on the island of Tasmania. Criminals were removed from mainland Australia due to severe crimes and sent to Tasmania. The convicts kidnapped Aboriginal children for servants, women for concubines and killed or mutilated the men, in order to conquer their homelands. In 1828, Governor Arthur ordered that all Tasmanian Aboriginals must leave the island where Europeans had settled. To enforce the order, government-sponsored ‘patrol teams’ made up of prisoners led by policemen. The patrol team chased and killed Aboriginal people, this hunt was known as ‘catching blacks’. It became a job or business venture for the patrol teams; to encourage the killing a price was set for Aboriginal heads; five British pounds for an adult, and two pounds for a child. The patrol teams killed Aboriginal people and dumped their bodies off a cliff, known today as Victory Hill. Arthur was encouraged, after John Batman, a well-known leader, later founding father of Melbourne, who shot two Aboriginals while they were in his custody (Combat Genocide Association 2019).
Evidence indicates that the British orchestrated genocidal policies and practices surreptitiously on Aboriginal people and their culture. According to Professor Tom Lawson, the British effectively supported the ethnic cleansing of Aboriginal Tasmanians during the period of martial law between 1828 and 1832. Professor Lawson made a compelling case for the Tasmanian genocide. He further states that the colonists’ terms were ‘extermination and extirpation’ when they discussed the colonial invasion of the homelands of the island’s Aboriginal inhabitants (Lawson 2014). Nick Brodie argues that the genocide was highly orchestrated, but deliberately downplayed, in order to eliminate Aboriginal people. Brodie used over 1,000 pages of Colonel George Arthur’s handwritten documents, informing exactly how he executed the genocide in Tasmania (Brodie 2017).
Arthur leaked stories to the press to gain support from the people. He publicly announced ‘retirement’ for people who continued to support the genocide, and also selective evidence was given to the investigative committee to cover up his atrocities. Arthur also declared that details of the genocide had to become top secret and continued with military offensives against the remaining Aboriginal people (Harman 2018). Most of the Aboriginal people had been forcibly removed from their homeland and killed or had died from introduced diseases (Lourandos 1997). The last Tasmanian Aboriginal, Truganini, watched her people being massacred, her mother killed by sailors, her uncle shot by soldiers, her sister abducted by sealers, and her fiancé brutally murdered by timber cutters. She was raped and exiled. Truganini lived through the mass killing of her own family members, relatives, friends, and other Tasmanian Aboriginals (Morris 2017).
In 1982, Patricia Cobern, who had denied the occurrence of genocide and wrote a letter to one of Australia’s leading news magazines, The Bulletin, which published her letter. ‘The letter claimed that the settlers had been ‘peaceful, moral people, while the Tasmanians were, treacherous, murderous, warmongering, filthy, covetous, parasite-infested and disturbed.’ She also claimed that it was pure coincidence that Aboriginal people began to die when the Europeans started to settle in Australia (Combat Genocide Association 2019). Almost two centuries have passed, but Australia is still in denial. Historian Lyndall Ryan says the true story of the massacres was lost, but myths and lies were left in its place (MacDonald 2019). However, in contrast to Australians’ view about eliminating Aboriginal people through systematically orchestrated genocides, the Germans have acknowledged the killing of Jews and the Nazis’ genocides. In 1953, the German government made payments to the Jewish people as a way of acknowledging Germany’s responsibility. Not only Germans; recently, the Swiss government and banking institutions have acknowledged their complicity with the Nazis and established funds to aid Holocaust survivors (History 2004).
Notably, white Australians did not even rescue one Aboriginal Tasmanian, but Germans had rescued Jews from the Nazis’ genocides. Recently, Israel's Holocaust memorial council declared Major Karl Plagge righteous among the nations, alongside men such as Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler, for an elaborate deception that saved about 250 Jewish lives. In 1931, Plagge, an engineer, joined the Nazi party to develop the wealth of Germany, but he became disillusioned due to their racial ideology. ‘He felt he had helped create this monster and that it was his duty to try to help these imperiled Jews.’ About 90 percent of the 57,000 Jews who lived in Vilnius were murdered, but 10 percent were saved by Plagge. In 1958, just before his death, he told a friend. , ‘I never felt that this needed special courage. It required only the conviction and strength that anyone can draw from the depth of moral feelings that exist in all humans.’ (McGreal 2005).
The Nazis may have learned the concept of ‘mass killing’ from the British.
To the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, Jews were an inferior race, just as to the British settlers, Aboriginal people were an inferior race. Jews were consistently persecuted during Nazi rule in Germany. Under the Nazi’s regime, Jews became targets for stigmatisation and persecution, just as Aboriginal people were stigmatised and persecuted by the settlers. Hitler’s final solution was eliminating the Jews in Europe by mass killing, just as Britain eliminated Aboriginal people in Tasmania. Hitler was obsessed with the idea of German superiority and needed more living space to expand the German race (History 2009), just as Britain eliminated Aboriginal people through genocides to expand their race, and justified their actions by the belief of their superiority (Leacock & Lee 1982).
The spirit of terra nullius.
The Australian Constitution was drafted against a backdrop of racism that led to the White Australia policy and a range of other discriminatory practices. The racist elements of the Constitution and the lack of recognition of the status and rights of the First People in the Constitution have had negative consequences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. It was drafted in the spirit of ‘terra nullius’, which means land that is legally deemed to be unoccupied or uninhabited. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were subjugated, incarcerated or eradicated, in order to keep the myth of ‘Terra Nullius’ alive. History has been forgotten, facts have been ignored, historical truth lost its stance, and social justice has turned a blind eye, but the contemporary white Australian identity has been created based on the myth of ‘Terra Nullius’ (Australian Human Rights Commission 2011).
In the 21st century, among Western countries, only Australia allows its Parliament to validly enact laws that are racially discriminatory. Section 25 of the Constitution gives provision for the exclusion of voters based on race. Section 51(xxvi) enables the Australian Parliament to regulate the affairs of the people of coloured or inferior races. Notably, in 1962, the Menzies government amended the Federal Electoral Act to give Indigenous people the right to vote in Federal elections. The Federal Electoral Act could be revoked or invalidated at any time because it is not consistent with sections 25 and 51 of the Constitution. It was a temporary patch-up solution and it is not a permanent Act until the people of Australia remove sections 25 and 51 from the Constitution through a referendum (Anderson, Hosch & Eccles 2014). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were expressly discriminated against in the drafting of the racist Constitution, visibly with the provisions that prevented them from being counted as among the numbers of the new nation (Parliamentary Education Office and Progress Report 2014).
Consequently, since then, successive governments ignored them and had not made any provision to protect their inherent rights as the First People of this country. Throughout the history of exclusion, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have consistently fought to have their rights acknowledged by the people of Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples campaigned for many years to achieve full voting rights in state and federal elections. Finally, under the Commonwealth Electoral Act (1962), Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders were given the right to enroll and vote. These rights were granted federally in 1962, Queensland allowed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to vote in State elections in 1965. Followed by the 1967 referendum paved the way for a critical change that allowed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be counted in the census (Parliament of Australia 2019). The people who lived in Australia for more than 40,000 years through calamitous environments and protected their lands have been denied their place in their motherland. This country has failed its fundamental test when it comes to social goals and human development. Truly, the land of the ‘fair go’ does not exist in Australia, if you belong to a coloured race (Australian Human Rights Commission 2011).
The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.
The Aboriginal Land Rights act was the most fundamental piece of social reform since 1788. This act was the first attempt by an Australian government to legally recognise Aboriginal people’s land ownership. The land rights Act has provided land for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory and enabled them to re-establish their cultural identity. When the Act was passed; inaccessible and unwanted lands became Aboriginal land. The only land able to be claimed is the land that nobody else is using. As a result of an amendment to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act by the Hawke Government, no more land claims could be lodged after 30 June 1997 (Central Land Council 2019).
Immigrants in Australia and their progress.
‘Australia prides itself on its fairness and multiculturalism. But wander through Sydney’s corporate towers or Canberra’s halls of Parliament, and you will notice that Australia’s power structure is overwhelmingly white, nowhere near as diverse as the country at large’(Cave 2018). About 95 percent of senior leaders in Australia have an Anglo-Celtic or European background; notably, the federal and state government department heads are 99 percent of Anglo-Celtic or European background. Even the children of immigrants outperform than their white Australian students, Australia’s racial and ethnic reality still remains the same. The Australian Government looks almost the same as it was in the 1960s during the White Australia policy, which restricted non-white immigration. Parliamentarian Dr. Anne Aly stresses that ‘Australia’s political leaders needed to become more comfortable with being challenged about their biases and cultural blind spots, and with the fact that Australia is more a part of Asia than Europe. She added that ‘political parties and the Australian news media needed to be more inclusive of non-European voices, and not just on issues like immigration or crime’. Similarly, Aboriginal leaders have been requesting the government to include their representatives in Parliament, but the government continues to ignore their request (Cave 2018).
In the United States Congress, 19 percent of lawmakers identify themselves as racial or ethnic minorities. However, in Australia, 94 percent of Parliament is of Anglo-Celtic or European heritage. The current policies will continue to marginalise and exclude a significant part of the Australian population without diversity management (Cave 2018, Bertone, Esposto & Turner 1998). Among the Western countries, Australia’s population has a high proportion of overseas-born, which is higher than other multicultural countries such as New Zealand (18.7 percent), Canada (18.4 percent), and the United States (11.4 percent) (DIMA 2005). Overseas-born residents in Australia represent about 23 percent of the total population (ABS 2004). According to the 2001 Census, 43% of Australians were either born overseas or had at least one parent born overseas. In 2002, 25 percent of Australia’s workers were born overseas, with 15 percent originating from non-English speaking countries. Notably, around 29 percent of the total number of small businesses are owned or operated by people who were born overseas (DIMA 2006). Furthermore, about 21 percent of small businesses are owned or operated by people of non-English speaking backgrounds (RDC 1998). It is clear, these statistics have altered Australia, and warrant new policies to accommodate others to encourage diversity (Bertone and Leahy 2001).
The legal response to racial discrimination in Australia.
In 1986 the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) was established by the Australian Government, in order to protect the human rights of a diverse population. The HREOC protects people from discrimination or harassment in the workplace and public life. The HREOCA covers both public and private organisations for a range of discriminations, such as age, religion, sexual preference, political opinion, trade union activity, and criminal record. (HREOC 2019). The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA) gives effect to Australia's obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The RDA makes racial discrimination unlawful and makes sure that everyone can enjoy human rights and freedoms regardless of race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, or being a relative or associate of someone of a particular ethnicity or another status. Under this Act, racial discrimination is unlawful, everyone has the privilege and right to equal enjoyment and fundamental freedoms (Federal Register of Legislation 2019).
The concept of diversity, a truly remarkable gift from the US to Australia.
The Australian population and its diverse society is constantly changing. However, the anti-discrimination legislation has not changed workforce diversity enough to utilise diversity as one of the main human resource management strategies in Australia. Equal opportunity legislation is limited when it comes to changing people’s mindsets and workplace cultures. Non-English speaking background immigrants continue to receive lower average incomes, have higher unemployment rates and face difficulties to gain promotion compared to Anglo-Australians (Watson 1996 and Syed 2007).). Leaders who understand the benefits of diversity not only accept that discrimination is wrong, both legally and morally, and that diversity is good for business (Thomas & Ely 1996). Carmody and Smith affirm that interacting effectively and collaboratively with diverse employees, customers and international partners is important to become a successful organisation. The ability to understand others and effectively interact with people across cultures is paramount to retaining top talents, in order to have a competitive advantage (Carmody and Smith 1991).
During the 1970s and 1980s, the concept of the diversity agenda has been described as one that ‘has come to Australia from the USA as a Human Resource Management (HRM) workplace strategy.’ (Strachan, Johan & Anne 2004). However, it has not been taken seriously in Australia. According to a survey of about 1,500 organisations, a majority of them do not have a written diversity management policy. It shows a lack of integration of managing diversity into a human resource management strategy. Australian organisations are in denial (see Table 1) and continue to fail to acknowledge diversity as a problem; but rather the organisations’ HRM focusing on flexible work and leave policies (AHRI 2001). Kramar clearly asserts that Australian organisations show commitment to managing diversity, but their actual progress is still at the early stage (Kramar 2004). According to Cope and Kalantzis, using diversity to increase productivity will improve the country’s micro-economy. In 1992, then-Prime Minister Paul Keating, and the leader of the opposition, Tim Fischer, promoted diversity to improve the Australian economy. According to the Australian Human Resource Management Institute, diversity management was needed to meet employee needs, reduce turnover costs and ensure customers receive the best service (De Cieri & Kramar 2003).
D’Netto, Smith, and Pinto made a compelling case for HRM's responsibility for diversity; they argue that the direct responsibilities of maintaining diversity and retaining top talents lie with HRM. To achieve diversity successfully, HRM policies need to reflect diversity in recruitment, selection, induction, and retention programs. It needs to develop, implement, review, revise and renew policies accordingly and in a timely manner (D’Netto, Smith & Pinto 2000). Organisations can improve their diversity by focusing on flexibility, multiplicity, devolution, negotiation and pluralism. Organisations that have adopted a diversity model are likely to be open and pluralistic (Cope and Kalantzis 1997). HRM professionals need to attract talented people and have a clear understanding that talent is good for the economy; they need to recognise the economic value of a diverse society and capitalise on the skills of overseas-born and educated people, such as linguistic and cultural skills, knowledge of overseas markets and experience in business practices (D’Netto, Smith & Pinto 2000). Allowing minority races to become Members of Parliament and boardroom executives would encourage diversity in Australia. Giving preference to talented peoples without racial discrimination and highlighting the economic benefit to organisations through talents are the right steps towards diversity in Australia (Kramar 1997).
The Australian government is not managing diversity properly.
The Australian government is in denial about its management of diversity, failing to do what is right and not setting an example for other organisations to follow. Diversity was introduced to Australia in the 1970s and 1980s, and I have been living in Australia since 1991, but I am still struggling with Australia’s racist ideology. The Australian political leaders and corporate executives need to closely examine the inadequacy of Australian diversity. Particularly, minority races continue to experience disadvantages; they have only access to low-grade employment and their systematic exclusion from the federal and state Parliaments and boardrooms.
I have been writing to spread awareness about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and refugees’ harsh life in Australia. I wrote many letters to federal and state ministers about their awful treatment of Aboriginal people in the outback, and refugees in the detention centres. Due to my writing, I was intimidated by the authorities. My house was searched by fifteen police members under a false accusation. My passport disappeared; when I applied for a new passport I was told that I was an illegal immigrant. Obviously, the government stole my Australian passport during the house search and deleted my citizenship details in the system. My citizenship certificate (No. ME9701311V), issued on 26/03/1997, has disappeared from the system; still, the Australian government hasn't given a reason for searching my house or deleting my citizenship.
I wrote to the United Nations and to the other countries' leaders about the government’s actions. Due to international pressure, the government quietly reinstated my citizenship. However, it has accomplished its goals. The government has successfully damaged my character, removed me from my professional job, and brought me to the street. Ten years have gone by; still, I cannot find a lawyer who has the willpower to take on the government to uphold justice. Notably, the equal opportunity legislation has done nothing to restore justice in my case. For the last ten years, I have been raising awareness across the world of the Australian Government’s actions. It makes one wonder what the Australian Government would do for enlightening others about its undemocratic actions. I returned to Australia in November 2017. Since landing in Australia I was isolated and my health has been targeted. Basically, the government is at a loss when it comes to dealing with me (Peter 2019).
The Australian government is not seeing value in negotiation.
Two talented Australians have been exposing Western countries at the expense of their comfortable lives. Julian Assange has exposed Western countries to the world more than any other Westerner (CNN 2019) and I have been exposing Western countries more than any other Asian who has ever lived in Western countries. Clearly, the Australian parliament’s HRM has failed to reach those talented Australians to hear their concerns. Subsequently, the wealth of knowledge has been shared all around the world. There is no obvious evidence that the Australian government has searched for trade-offs, in order to solve the disputes with its citizens who have been exposing the Western countries’ double standards. In the 1990s I wrote many letters to the appropriate ministers about Australia’s discrimination policies, but I did not get a reply, not even an acknowledgment of receipt of my letters(Peter 2019).
Obviously, the government did not reply, because it was too busy planning to delete my citizenship and accusing me as an illegal immigrant. Since the Australian Government deleted my Australian citizenship due to my writings, I have made enormous efforts to reconcile with them, but the government decided to ignore my letters and focused on its propaganda to undermine my credibility. As far as I know, the Australian government has not done anything to negotiate with its citizens to utilise their knowledge and skills. The Australian government has not managed its conflicts effectively. This has adversely affected the Western countries’ democracy and human rights campaigns and gave the upper hand to China. Consequently, Australian leaders’ actions have damaged the Western powers and their ability to continue to rule the world. However, it is not too late to give reasonable consideration to a restorative Justice system (Peter 2019).
Conflict will come up in every area of life. The question is how we approach our differences. It can be stressful, it may lead to a broken relationship and lost opportunity, or it is an opportunity to deepen our connection with the people with whom we disagree. Conflict is inevitable but dysfunctional conflict is not inevitable. We can make it worse or choose actions that open new possibilities. Every day we see attacks and counterattacks while we deal with conflicts, even at the level of the United Nations. Our approach to conflicts is not part of our character or personality but our approach is based on what we have learned about the people with whom we disagree. We should not listen to attacks but look for information that reveals people’s needs (Caspersen 2015). An interest-based bargaining method identifies individuals or shared interests, instead of focusing on positions. Successful negotiators identify individual or shared interests without disadvantaging others (FWC 2019).
People start to expose or attack others because their concerns have not been heard or their needs have not been met. Developing curiosity in a difficult situation will help to understand others’ needs. Corporate executives and political leaders, once confronted with negative publicity, become so focused on controlling public relations and managing the crisis that they lose sight of valuable and problem-solving negotiations. Many public relations experts still argue that negotiations have no place in a crisis. However, experts in conflict management point out that negotiators should search for trade-offs that will lead to a mutually beneficial agreement. An interest-based bargaining method identifies individuals or shared interests, instead of focusing on positions. Successful negotiators identify individual or shared interests without disadvantaging others (Heitler 1990).
Managing a conflict based on the Harvard Principles of Negotiation.
‘Conflict exists in any situation where facts, desires or fears pull or push participants against each other or in divergent directions’ (Heitler 1990). In order to handle conflict effectively and professionally, first, we must separate the person from the issue, ultimately, the main goal is to help the people. Negotiators should not focus on the leader or person, but be mindful of the people and their needs, which is very important (Henschel 2018). Secondly, the focus needs to be on interests, not on positions. Negotiation is not all about who is right or wrong, it is a process of creating a win-win situation for both parties. In order to achieve a win-win situation, both parties should not focus on their positions but focus solely on their interests. Parties who are involved in negotiation should encourage each other to reveal their own interests and solve the issue based on interests (Gritzbach 2018). Thirdly, it is necessary to develop criteria that a solution must fulfill. This is done by asking questions to understand what criteria will fulfill the other party’s concerns. Finally, negotiators should provide different options to choose from; by always giving options to choose from, it will make the other party feel that they have got more than what they have asked for (Henschel 2018).
The Restorative Justice System.
North America has been restoring its relationships among different races and communities by following a restorative justice system. Restorative practices are the science of human relationships. Human beings need strong and meaningful relationships to thrive, just as they need food, shelter, and clothing. It is an emerging social science that connects individuals, communities, and especially victims and wrongdoers (International Institute for Restorative Practices). The concept of restorative justice existed in early Indigenous and European cultures. The traditional approach pursues guilt and imposes punishment; however, restorative justice is more concerned with repairing the damage caused by offending and restoring relationships between individuals and the community (Strang 2001). Restorative justice provides an opportunity for active participation by victims, offenders, and their communities. According to Zehr, restorative justice is a process. It gives an opportunity to get involved as much as possible for those who have a stake in an offense to collectively address harms, needs, and obligations, in order to put things in the right order (Zehr 2002).
North America was also invaded, based on genocide. More conservative scholars have estimated around 100 million people had been eliminated to take over North America; less -conservative scholars estimate around 200 million people had been eliminated. Professor Taiaiake Alfred is a Kahnawake Mohawk educator and writer, and the founding director of the University of Victoria's indigenous governance programs in Canada. He argues that ‘celebrating 'America's 400th Birthday' ignores the genocide of the continent's native people. ‘It's hard for a native person to be anything but shocked and saddened to the core by the effrontery of it all. Jamestown 2007 is, in essence, a surreptitious celebration of the conquest of our homeland and the destruction of our people in the service of imperialism and the expansion of the white race. It marks the era that saw indigenous peoples ravaged by diseases introduced by European settlers (on average, our communities lost 75 percent of their populations) and the dispossession of our homelands by fraud and deceit - not a single treaty entered into by the English Crown or the US has been honoured by the whites’ (Taiakake 2007).
Having excellent conflict management skills, including negotiation skills, will help to manage organisations and the country well. The inability to search for trade-offs, hold on to positions, and not pursue an interest-based bargaining method will lead to a disaster. Successful negotiators identify an individual or shared interests without disadvantaging or discriminating against others. Diversity in Australia is still at the early stage, due to a lack of knowledge about the talents of minority people and the government’s inability to negotiate to utilise those talents. Most Australians do not know that Australia allows its Parliament to validly enact laws that are racially discriminatory. Furthermore, the government has recently rejected the establishment of a national Indigenous representative assembly. The leaders’ argument was that the people would not support a referendum. The people have not been informed of what is needed to be done. This is the main reason such a referendum would not be supported by the people of Australia. The Parliament’s HRM continues to fail to inform the truth to the people.
HRM’s inability to see the talent of minority races and lack of negotiation skills that are needed to achieve win-win situations based on mutual interests are creating divisions. Australia’s progress toward diversity is very slow and it is not convincing enough. The Australian Government has been failing to manage diversity at the same time that it has been preaching diversity to other government department heads and corporate executives. Most of the Australian institutions, such as the parliaments, the judiciary, the public service, corporations, trade unions, and arts and cultural bodies, continue to be dominated by people of Anglo-Celtic or European heritage. Non-English-speaking background immigrants continue to face discrimination. However, the ‘unified model’ would promote diversity more than equal opportunity legislation. It recognises Australian talents and allows minority races to become members of Parliament and boardroom executives which would be the historical evolution from the White Australia policy to true multiculturalism.
The restorative justice system would work in every situation. The question is, do the Western governments really want to restore the relationship with the people with whom they disagree, or do they have a desire to demonise writers and punish them as a tactic to shy away from their own failed responsibility to govern the country adequately? Note that the political leaders of the Five Eyes countries (the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) are exceptionally good in demonising others, to hide their own failures, crimes, and atrocities. This has to change if we all want to live in a peaceful world. If Native Americans can practice a restorative justice system after losing their homelands and 75% of their population, surely the American and Australian Governments can practice restorative justice in Julian Assange’s and my current situation.
This paper proposes that policy initiatives at governmental as well as organisational levels must recognise Australia’s diverse society and its talents without discriminating against minority races. HRM is the engine in every organisation, including in the parliaments of Australia. It must be a driving force to eliminate discrimination. HRM professionals need to understand that discrimination is wrong, both legally and morally, and that diversity is good for the economy. The country’s policymakers, including HRM professionals, need to recognise the economic value of a diverse Australian society, and capitalise on the skills of overseas-born and educated people, such as accessing their linguistic and cultural skills, knowledge of overseas markets and experience in business practices, in order to become successful organisations. This includes the Australian political parties and the federal and state parliaments.
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