Statues of colonial figures in Sydney’s CBD are undergoing a review by the city council in response to calls from Indigenous leaders to acknowledge the “damaging” past associated with particular figures.

It’s understood 25 statues are being reassessed to provide a more comprehensive and accurate representation of historical events.

The review will “reassess the one-dimensional accounts of past events”, the council said in a statement, suggesting the changes could include the addition of alternate plaques.

The plaque on former Governor Lachlan Macquarie in Hyde Park currently describes him as a “perfect gentleman”.

But Indigenous leaders argue this description is misleading because it fails to mention Macquarie’s involvement in ordering violence against Aboriginal people.

“It doesn’t talk about that he actually told the soldiers and others to actually, you know, kill Aboriginal people,” City of Sydney Councillor and Wiradjuri woman Yvonne Weldon said via Channel Nine.

“These people actually did create great harm to the First Nations across this country so their representation needs to be with an honesty.”

Historians and many First Nations people believe that the statues present a “lopsided” view of Australia’s history and do not honour past elders, arguing that Indigenous voices should be incorporated into the monuments to provide a more complete understanding of the nation‘s history.

“To fully understand that history then we need to hear their (Indigenous) voice in these monuments,” University of Sydney Historian James Findlay said.

Proposed changes are being developed in collaboration with Sydney’s Aboriginal and Public Art Advisory panels.

Yvonne Weldon suggested the next step should involve erecting statues of significant Indigenous leaders throughout Sydney as a means of honouring their contributions and experiences.

Read related topics:Sydney


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