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‘Always will be invasion day’: Think about what you’re celebrating on January 26

January 26 is and always will be invasion day. Rick Johnston, Potts Point

Pathetic trolls are no match for Dokic

It’s time to declare game, set and match against online trolls (“Survivors have each other’s backs”, January 25). It is just too hard for the trolls to be kind or considerate to other human beings. It is even too hard for them to manage a quiet reflection about their actions, let along respect for others. One suspects they are not shooting for the stars in life.

Some loser in New Zealand even felt the need to write nasty things about Jacinda Ardern in his paddock to become a one-minute wonder. The art of keeping nasty thoughts to himself was obviously not in his toolkit, and he appears to have issues with living his best life.

But you, Jelena Dokic, are living your best life. And I think you are a great tennis commentator because you know your stuff. Pity the trolls and retain a strong belief in your sense of self.
Karma tells us they go away to their lonely and miserable holes eventually. Wendy Atkins, Cooks Hill

Jelena DokicCredit:Nine News

When I tune into the Open I’m always glad to hear Jelena Dokic – intelligent, spot-on the moment, displaying care for the players and illuminating the game. I’m glad she’s transitioned from a player to a commentator; I’m gladder still that she’s a survivor and, if I might add, a tigress to boot. Role models come in all shapes, sizes and colours, but they usually have one thing in common – the proverbial heart as big as Phar Lap’s. Dokic can stand proud, knowing that she’s loved and admired by this sporting nation. How many of those fetid online trolls can say that? Patrick McGrath, Potts Point

Congratulations to Jelena Dokic on her article, written with sincere openness. Progressing with a brilliant TV career, being out there and strong. Be very proud of yourself, Jelena, and your achievements. Susan Chan, St Ives

Dokic is an asset to tennis and to the Australian Open. Her commentary is informative and different. As a person she has suffered enough and is deserving of accolades, not abuse. Sometimes I am embarrassed at being a human being. We are capable of so much ugliness. Dokic is an asset to our society. Geoff Hermon, Maraylya

Good luck to Dokic as she returns the pretentious serves and unwarranted backhands of the self-appointed image-makers. Her brave approach commands much wider recognition and respect, beyond anything she ever achieved on court. She deserves wholehearted support for her contribution to mental health outside the sporting arena. Jenifer Nicholls, Armadale (Vic)

Crisis proves worth of Voice

The situation in Alice Springs is a good illustration of the need for the Voice (“Prime minister too slow to respond to Alice Springs violence”, January 25). A couple of centuries of paternalistic and haphazard policy has had only a deleterious effect on the prospects for Aborigines in terms of health, educational and economic outcomes. There has been little or no Voice involved yet the default reaction by so many Australians is that it is a law and order issue. Noel Pearson might have provided the answer to the question that seems to bother people who doubt the need for the Voice. Speaking on radio this week, he made the issue crystal-clear: the answers to the questions raised by Peter Dutton are that the federal parliament will decide. The only thing the people are being asked is whether they agree with the principle of recognising a Voice in the constitution that provides advice on public policy concerned with our First Peoples. The federal parliament will decide on the make-up of the Voice as a body and its role in policy development. The importance of the Voice will be that of expert, informed and respected members acting as advisers to the government in providing policy for Indigenous Australians. Its significance will derive from the constitutional recognition being proposed for the Voice. Let them be heard. Victor Boase, Narraweena

Australia’s doctors have a Voice to parliament; it’s called the AMA (Letters, January 25). Unionists have a Voice to parliament – the ACTU. Big business has a Voice – the Business Council of Australia. Twiggy Forrest has a Voice – his own. We allow everyone – from clubs and pubs to the property council – to have a Voice to parliament. Why on Earth would anyone half-decent oppose an Indigenous Voice to parliament?

Does the AMA truly and democratically represent doctors? Probably not. And the ACTU? Probably not. In the current debate, we are simply acknowledging that it is so important for the Indigenous Voice to be heard that we want it to be well organised and as democratically chosen as possible. The Australian parliament from time to time will detail how that is best done after listening to all those with an opinion on this thorny topic.

It is unlikely that the Indigenous Voice to parliament will be as powerful as the guns or gambling lobbies, but it will make the attempt. Unless we are hard-hearted or are blinded by deliberately deceitful arguments, we will give them the chance and wish them well. Richard Walsh, Woollahra

Museums better off

The leadership problems at Museums of History NSW are no surprise (“Leadership strife grips new museums body”, January 25). The third CEO at Sydney Living Museums in 10 years has departed the position at short notice and unexplained circumstances. In 10 years, visitor numbers plummeted, opening hours dramatically declined, 8000 members were lost, millions in bequests withdrawn, a vigorous public and publications program wilted. In the same period, the organisation spent huge amounts rebranding itself with two new and different names, and bizarrely, merged with State Records. The most expert and experienced staff in historic place management in the country left, costing the taxpayer millions in redundancy payments. The government has no one to blame but itself for this appalling mismanagement. Hubris, self-congratulations and cronyism are no substitute for knowledge, skill and experience.

Thankfully the newly appointed interim CEO has stated that he will avoid “dumbing it down – that kind of Disney-fication you see around the world”. He has shown at the State Library how, in the right hands, popular appeal and deep knowledge can make happy bedfellows. Peter Watts, Lilyfield

Divide that conquers

Besides cementing and intensifying inequality, the private school/public school divide means that millions of children are confined exclusively to their class and/or religious world (“Private education for two children hits $1m”, January 25). The situation does not create the foundations for a cohesive society. Alan Morris, Eastlakes

Musical misconstrued

The cast of Miss Saigon performs during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The cast of Miss Saigon performs during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.Credit:Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions) .

Often what a successful musical is criticised for is what it in fact aims to confront (“Opera Australia faces backlash”, January 25) For years, a revival of South Pacific was deemed out of the question for the taint of racism until people looked again and saw it exposed racism. A revival of Promises Promises was avoided due to perceived misogyny until people looked at the mockery of men in it and saw its depiction of attempted suicide by the emotionally abused lead female character. Miss Saigon has done tremendous good in creating empathy for Vietnamese refugees and exposing the long-hidden plight of abandoned children born to American soldiers and Vietnamese women while also providing a large number of opportunities for Asian artists. Just because a show is financially successful while achieving virtuous aims is no reason for its intentions to be misrepresented and wrongly deplored. Opera Australia should be applauded for taking on this earnestly challenging show. Peter Fleming, Northmead

More parks, please

Here’s a radical idea (“Clever vision is needed to revive Central Station”, January 25). Why not just build the new park over the railway and keep Prince Alfred Park. Let’s play catch-up for all the new high-rise developments that have gone up around the city without any contribution to more green space over recent years. The poor kids trapped in their apartments will have somewhere to play outdoors to get away from their video games and participate in sporting activities and there will be much room for those wanting to exercise or enjoy a walk in the open. As well, of course, all the greenery offsets some greenhouse impacts. Win-win. Neville Pleffer, Rooty Hill

Plane or train?

Your correspondent rightly points out the advantages of flying over long-distance fast trains (Letters, January 25). However, she fails to mention the travelling time to the airport, about one hour in my case, and then you have to check in an hour before your flight leaves plus allow for queues. So all in, a one-hour return flight can take up to six hours door-to-door – but you do get the privilege of sitting in a crowded airport paying extraordinary prices for very ordinary food and drink. Mark Nugent, Lugarno

As a past resident of Montreal I can attest to the popularity of the five-hour train ride from Montreal to Toronto. Having boarded more than 30 trips back and forth between these two great cities, I can vouch for its popularity, soothing calmness and convenience of being deposited in the heart of downtown. Cathryn Gallagher, West Pennant Hills

Original pickle

The “American” pickle, a cucumber preserved in sweetened vinegar and flavoured with dill and mustard seed, did indeed come to us from there. However, the pickle got to America from Eastern Europe during the great trans-Atlantic migrations of the early twentieth century and insinuated itself into American culinary tradition (Letters, January 25). John Constable, Balmain

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