Image: Uluru | By Robyn Jay
NAIDOC Week 2019
During the month it was NAIDOC Week and this years theme is VOICE.TREATY.TRUTH. It’s all about working together for a shared future.
The Indigenous voice of this country is over 65,000 plus years old.
They are the first words spoken on this continent. Languages that passed down lore, culture and knowledge for over millennia. They are precious to our nation.
It’s that Indigenous voice that include know-how, practices, skills and innovations - found in a wide variety of contexts, such as agricultural, scientific, technical, ecological and medicinal fields, as well as biodiversity-related knowledge. They are words connecting us to country, an understanding of country and of a people who are the oldest continuing culture on the planet.
And with 2019 being celebrated as the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, it’s time for this knowledge to be heard through our voices.
Image: 'Awaken' | By Charmaine Mumbulla
Charmaine Mumbulla is the winner of the prestigious National NAIDOC poster competition for 2019. Charmaine cares deeply about the 2019 National NAIDOC theme, and about the celebration of Indigenous art and history.
Her artwork “Awaken” depicts early dawn light rising over Uluru, symbolising continued spiritual and unbroken connection to the land. The circles at the base of Uluru represent the historic gathering in May 2017 of over 250 people from many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations who adopted the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Charmaine writes of the piece: “Our message, developed through generations, is echoed throughout the land: hear our voice and recognise our truth. We call for a new beginning, marked by a formal process of agreement and truth-telling, that will allow us to move forward together.”
Uluru Statement from the Heart
NAIDOC week invites us to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation. Therefore, to celebrate language and the power of words we acknowledge and share with you the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart was written in 2017, but built on generations of consultation and discussions among Indigenous people on a range of issues. It specifically sequenced a set of reforms: first, a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution and second, a Makarrata Commission to supervise treaty processes and truth-telling.
Makarrata is a word from the language of the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land. The Yolngu concept of Makarrata captures the idea of two parties coming together after a struggle, healing the divisions of the past. It is about acknowledging that something has been done wrong, and it seeks to make things right.
"In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek
across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people
for a better future."
To learn more & read the full version of the Uluru Statement from the Heart visit the Referendum Council website here.