We dont believe in censorship: Controversial Aboriginal commentator to lead WA festival amid fear of backlash from Noongar people – WAtoday

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She is the daughter of former NT minister Bess Price and a controversial figure for many Aboriginal Australians for her views on domestic violence and child protection in Indigenous communities.

"Yes, we are aware that Jacinta Price is potentially disruptive but that is exactly why we have chosen to invite her to this festival," Ms Allen said.

"The State Library does not believe in censorship or that Ms Price has crossed a line, which means her views should not be aired or given a platform.

"We acknowledge that the local Noongar community does not share this view."

This is not the first time Ms Price has faced controversy ahead of a scheduled public speaking event.

In September 2019, NSW traditional owners called for Ms Price's Mind the Gap Tour event in Coffs Harbour to be cancelled, saying the Alice Springs councillor was "not welcome".

In a statement a group made up of nine local Aboriginal organisations said Ms Price had vilified Aboriginal peoples and cultures for years and ridiculed their "compounding pain and suffering".

Ms Price fired back at critics, saying the group's move was "political correctness gone absolutely bonkers" and adding she would not request permission from elders to enter Australian land.

Ms Allen said journalist Stan Grant would be another keynote speaker at this year's event, who would likely "provide a different opinion to Jacinta Price".

"We will also invite members of the local Noongar community to join Jacinta on a panel to discuss her ideas," she said.

"Libraries best serve their communities when they openly and freely support citizens in accessing and understanding information of different kinds, even when this information may include views that are considered controversial."

Ms Allen said while Ms Price had accepted the invitation to speak at the festival she was unlikely to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions limiting interstate travel to WA.

Ms Price was contacted for comment.

The free Disrupted Festival of Ideas will take place at the State Library of WA on November 7. This year's festival will be centred around the theme 'A Better World' and include activities for children, music performances and panel discussions.

Marta is an award-winning photographer and journalist with a focus on social justice issues and local government.

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We dont believe in censorship: Controversial Aboriginal commentator to lead WA festival amid fear of backlash from Noongar people - WAtoday

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