‘Shocked and distraught’: Aboriginal leader regrets not being allowed to welcome Obama to Australia

The University of Cambridge will return to Australia four aboriginal spears looted in 1770


Mar 30, 2023 06:00 GMT

The former US president is visiting the oceanic country, where he will participate in a series of events.

Joy Murphy, leader of Australia’s Wurundjeri Aboriginal people, says she is surprised and shocked that they have not welcomed former US President Barack Obama as she has done with other dignitaries who have come to Australia in recent decades, they reported on Wednesday local media.

When she learned that Obama was coming to her homeland, the 78-year-old woman was thrilled at the opportunity to receive him, so she requested the appropriate arrangements for a support person to attend with her, while asked to be able to give him a gift to the former president, as determined by cultural practice.

However, from Growth Faculty, which organized the event held in Naarm, Melbourne, they responded that it was “too hard”so they did not allow him to attend, which has offended the indigenous community.

“They have always shown me respect and accepted my welcome as a gift from our people,” said Murphy, who was also barred from traditional cultural protocols during a business lunch with Obama scheduled for Thursday. “I have been surprised and distressed by the way the organizers of the event have treated me,” he added.

“I asked to be treated as an equal”

The woman assures that she had never received similar treatment in the past. “I don’t want this to be a reflection of President Obama. I am a leader of the Wurundjeri nation. I asked to be treated as an equal,” she said.

During more than four decadesMurphy has welcomed different personalities in the oceanic country, such as the queen Isabel IINelson Mandela or the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso.

Later, the organizers of the event they apologized with the Wurundjeri and their leader and claimed that they made that decision for security reasons, as they could not adapt to last-minute changes. However, Murphy was invited to the event this Thursday.

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Written by Editor TLN

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