Tag Archives: Treaty

Visibility and Invisibility 2022 #17

Our dreams start out invisible. This is inevitable. A few thoughts floating around in our head like butterflies, that we try and capture, which is often, just like butterflies, hard to do. It requires patience, observation, and stillness. Dreams maybe visible when we sleep, some clever unfolding and prompting in our unconscious selves trying to bring something to the surface. Thoughts take shape with images, sounds, colour, emotions. Maybe you have recurrent dreams that haunt or tease you. But these are not the dreams I am really thinking about. I am thinking about the dreams that we want to make visible, the kind of dream Martin Luther King had of liberation, or the dream aspirants have of being elected, or winning a prize and through discipline and talent aim to make their dreams come true.

I am dreaming of ways in which we can all level up and bring more equity to decision-making. It is one of the reasons I support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the inherent result of Voice Treaty Truth and a First Nations presence in our national parliament. This dream will be informing my vote at the next Federal election. I cannot and will not support any political party or candidate that does not embrace the Uluru Statement. The current government’s parties commissioned the statement’s creation and all the consultation far and wide and then on presentation rejected it. It was yet another dark day in our nation … but it is not a dream that can be held hostage … it is one that is released for all of us to embrace. It is one we need to honour. It is an act of equity and justice. First, we have to hear the voice, which is why parliamentary representation is central; then we have to have a just settlement, a covenant, treaties and then we will be in a position to hear and receive the truth.  The Uluru Statement is the culmination of what was an Indigenous Constitutional Convention – constitutional change is non- negotiable.

If the Voice part of the Uluru sequence invokes the realm of politics and the Treaty part conjures the world of law, then the Truth part aligns most closely with the domain of historyKate Fullagar

Getting to equity recognises we do not all start from the same place, and adjustments are needed to address the imbalances. That is why separate First Nations voices to parliament is an equity issue for me. We must address the imbalances in our legislation and only legislators can pass those laws, and laws get passed in Parliament.  Thomas Mayor’s words to his then seven-year-old son William, who put his hand on this heart and said, “the heart of the nation is in here.”  This is our work now as we head into the historic election in which only one major party is agreeing to follow through on the Uluru Statement and offer a referendum to the Australian people for a substantive, not symbolic, constitutional recognition to constitutionally enshrine First Nations Voice – nothing less will suffice for this dream to become visible. For right now, we are living a lie, and in a nightmare for our First Nations.  If the place you work for supports the Uluru Statement, if you have shares in companies that have signed their support, if you have signed up to the Statement – the time to mark your ballot in favour of the Uluru Statement and make this dream visible, is on the horizon.

Put your hand on you heart, feel the beat, breath in through your feet on the land, feel the pulse of our shared home. The Voice proposal is quite conservative, and the talents and ingenuity of leaders like Megan Davis with expert constitutional knowledge, have the proposal in the Uluru Statement as the simple premise of a First Nations representative body, with its primary function to present the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the Parliament where decisions are made about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Nothing more and nothing less.  Let us vote for equity. For dreams and for dreaming our way to justice. For visibility of the invisible heart of our nation.

6 September 2019, Logan, Qld. Guest of Logan Together listening to Megan Davis and learning more about the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Dancing with Speeches #4 MLK

This week’s speech inspired by Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C, USA.

I am not from the US, I have no right to speak on their behalf, yet the #BlackLivesMatter campaign is ringing in my ears and on my screens it is shaking me up. It is helping me reconnect with my activism. It is sending a message home to my core. #BlackLivesMatter is rebuilding the black liberation movement in the USA and around the world.    is an affirmation and embrace of the resistance and resilience of Black people, founded by

Where we had Charlie Perkins in Australia riding in the freedom run we now have Luke Pearson making strides in the media with IndigenousX, where we had Kath Walker claim her space as poet and her name as Oodgeroo Noonuccal, we have Dr Antia Heiss asking us Am I Black Enough for You? The strains of Yothu Yindi dancing our way into our hearts with Treaty is still part of the soundtrack for action. Dr Gregory Phillips is healing us all as we find the steps towards healing the deepest wounds of the lies of the past and what we need to do to save ourselves and our planet. So I want to stand still and bow to all those leaders and say thank you for teaching me, a white woman, and now taught, my job is to stand in solidarity, to speak up and to invoke the call #blacklivesmatter.

The great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, said he refused to believe the bank of justice is bankrupt. As a non black person I have the responsibility to make deposits into this bank, and even more responsibility to not make withdrawals with my own racism. I need to make deposits to bring equity and make this bank balance grow with interest! My acts should be a sign for others to follow.

There is urgency today as real as it was in the 60s. Children are dying in the streets, mothers are losing their babies, communities are losing their men, we are all losing the talents and gifts of those who fall to drugs, alcohol, violence and preventable diseases. In MLK’s words, the place for the struggle is on the “highest plane of dignity and discipline” and “rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force”.

How do you bring your soul force to the liberation movement? Just like the warrior before battle prepares with exercise and study of the plan, gets to know the enemy and readiness themselves for being wounded and even potentially death. The soul force needs to be fostered to grow strong. The preparation, the plan, the readiness to be knocked down and to get up again is true for all of those who take the nonviolent path. For what is the antonym of warrior? Is it peacemaker? Is it civilian? Is it liberator? Or is it that warriors of the liberation movement are nonviolent activists who recognize the battle fields of policy, of programs, on the streets, in the supermarkets, in the carriages of the trains? The war on equity is everywhere and we are all bound up in it. I live on land that was stolen. I make my home in a landscape where I don’t know its language. I take colonization as a given.

Just as MLK called for the sounds of freedom to be heard from every mountain top, I take tentative steps to build my soul force from the trills and squawks of the birds offering sounds of freedom to be ringing out across this country. The tweets come in new forms and are accompanied with a hashtag #blacklivesmatter and the work to get to that mountain top ‘ain’t done yet!

We are the ones who will make the rough paths smooth, the crooked ways straight and the valleys exalted. The soul force pays attention to our own rough paths, our own crooked ways and our own valleys of despair, darkness and inequity and rises up to the mountain top and bring others with us so we can all get to that mountain top together and leave no one behind. When we stand on that mountain top and see the “oasis of freedom and justice” we will have dealt with sweltering heat of injustice and oppression. In this dreaming we will understand we are owned by Mother Earth and the mountain is holding us up and learnt this from the ones who knew this truth first.

It is then, and only then and because #blacklivesmatter, we will all be truly free, free at last and be able to sing as one voice Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! 

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