27 May 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.

To take part, all you have to do is post a photo on your own blog, write a short caption explaining it, and link it back to here. Please write a new post, don't link to an older one. When your photo is published, come back and add a comment below, with a link to your blog photo so we can all find you. Please visit all the blogs that appeal to you and leave a comment. Slow down, take the time to cruise around and enjoy your cyber visits.


This morning I'm still thinking about yesterday - Sorry Day in Australia. I attended a very moving event and was fortunate enough to listen to the stories shared by some remarkable indigenous people.  Sorry Day is not about saying sorry. Of course it's implied that we are sorry for what these people and their families went through, but this is a day of reconciliation and coming together. It's about being quiet for a change and listening to the experiences of others, it's about being part of a solution instead of seeing only problems, it's about acceptance of one another and the past, and moving forward - together.

There were four flags flying at the entrance of the neighbourhood centre when I arrived. The first one - red, black and gold, is the Australian Indigenous flag, then the Torres Strait Islander flag, the Queensland flag and the Australian flag. Our neighbourhood centre sits on Kabi Kabi traditional land.

Wiruungga and Kerry conducted a smoking ceremony to cleanse everyone as they entered.

 The early crowd drinking tea, making headbands and talking. Between 150 and 200 people attended.

 The ceremonial table holding photos of Stolen Generations people and ancestors of Aunty Pam, as well as paintings and artefacts.

Some of the women singing in language. Aunty Beverly is on the end and she's totally blurred out. Sorry Bev!

 The Kabi Kabi dancers.

Terri-Ann, Bianca and Aunty Theresa (visiting from Cape York) - with their interpretation of the day, in dance.

At our Sorry Day, Aunty Pam and Aunty Beverly shared the stories of their families and country then, one by one, several indigenous folk came forth, shared their stories and how they and their families had been affected by our former government's policies. These are strong people. To have survived what they did and still be here, smiling and willing to share their rich culture with us, is something close to wonderful. We are one nation and together, helped along by events like that one yesterday, we'll move towards a better deal for us all. No one is saying sorry every year, what we are doing is becoming friends, getting to know each other and developing trust; we are learning about their culture and languages - they know a lot about ours.  There was a warm feeling of mutual acceptance yesterday. It's been a long time coming. 

This photo wasn't taken yesterday but it is of my good friend Beverly Hand and me. I am very proud of Aunty Beverly for many reasons but she was recently awarded a Senior Fellowship at the University of the Sunshine Coast, where she speaks as a guest lecturer and acts as an advisor on conservation and land management. 

Blogger Template by pipdig