Reconciliation Week (May 27 to June 3) was celebrated in Sturt Park on Monday with Mission Australia cutting a cake to share with Broken Hill students from local schools.
The gathering followed a march to the park where guest speaker – Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Manager for Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Corey Paulson – was invited by traditional elder and President of the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, Sandra Clark OAM, to share a few words as a visitor off country on country.
“I’ve been here for 20 years working in multiple positions over the years, and the RFDS is very supportive of me attending local community events, as they’re really a part of what I see as our future together in the Australian conversation around moving forward with reconciliation and also highlighting the need for improvement in the way that we do engage with First Nations peoples,” Mr Paulson told the Truth.
“It’s awesome to see this event happening here, to be invited by Aunty Sandy, and to have children here to understand the messaging. We must include them in that situation of knowledge and also the situation of where they are placed in the conversation.
“And that’s at the heart when we think about being a voice for future generations, it’s that they are at the heart of what we’re actually making the decision on in the referendum. But they’re also always at the heart of our cultural obligation to put forward a better future or a better place than we’re actually living in.”
Mr Paulson is a supporter of The Voice.
“I’m definitely somebody that’s open and ready to engage in that conversation of searching for understanding between two people or two entities or two organisations to actually come to an agreement,” he told us.
“So, this is where we share the space and I think we need to be kind and gentle with those conversations and communication in community and in our families.
“When we talk about the conversation politically, it is opening up some nasty places that aren’t too kind or aren’t too safe to actually step into, so my message would be to just be wary – be mindful and keep a lookout that we’re being kind and being gentle with each other.”
Mabo Day will be celebrated on June 3 to mark the date in 1992 that the High Court of Australia made the Mabo Decision, which recognises the unique connection First Nations people have to the land and led to the passing of the Native Title Act in 1993.