By Pamela Nathan
As we prepare to enjoy the 4-day Easter break across Australia, I would like to share some important reading.
The republic is an Aboriginal issue – By Professor Megan Davis, published in The Monthly, April 2018 https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2018/april/1522501200/megan-davis/republic-aboriginal-issue
Whitefella dreaming: it’s time to discover our reconciled republic – By Mark McKenna, published in the Sydney Morning Herald, 17 March 2018 https://amp.smh.com.au/politics/federal/whitefella-dreaming-it-s-time-to-discover-our-reconciled-republic-20180314-p4z4bi.html?__twitter_impression=true
Report: Pathways to Justice—Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples – By the Australian Law Reform Commission: https://www.alrc.gov.au/news-media/media-release/pathways-justice-indigenous-incarceration (or, if you are really pushed for time, the Summary: https://www.alrc.gov.au/publications/pathways-justice-summary)
Each of these pieces of writing, in essence, deal with the fallout from the ongoing refusal of white Australia to hear and acknowledge – to recognise – the true history of Australia and the needs – the rights – of Australia’s First Peoples.”
In Megan Davis’s words, they reveal “the torment of our powerlessness”. Davis concludes: “At Uluru we invited you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future”. The incredible generosity of Australia’s First People in offering up the Uluru Statement from the Heart, while bearing the full force of a catastrophic racial divide, is beyond remarkable and must be acknowledged.
Each of these articles offers practical and pragmatic changes that would make a real and meaningful difference. Every one of us has a responsibility to make the changes a reality in whatever way we can.
At CASSE, we work alongside Aboriginal people and communities – listening, thinking and sharing. It is a psychoanalytic process that allows stories to be shared, heard and recognised, for humanity to be found, and people empowered to find new narratives. It allows insight into people’s emotional worlds, about obstacles, violence and problem behaviours, in order to promote healing and nurture awareness – self-awareness and community awareness – in order to change minds and save lives.
The Men’s Tjilirra Movement was one outcome of this process and I look forward to sharing more stories about the Men’s Tjilirra Movement in the coming weeks.
Another was the Kurruna Mwarre Ingkintja – Good Spirit Male’s Place Research Project – a collaboration between CASSE and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC). This project commenced in 2015 with the aim of developing a unique Aboriginal Men’s Shed Model, along cultural lines, to empower men to find their voices and live authentically. For two years prior, many consultations were held with Aboriginal men and communities to determine the direction and need for pending research.
In case you missed our communication, the final report from this project is now available and should be added to your Easter reading list: https://www.casse.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/00068-PH-Kurruna-Mwarre-Ingkintja-Report-e_final.pdf
The Transcript of Interviews conducted by Ken Lechleitner Pangarte, ‘Talking Powerfully from the Heart’, is a powerful adjunct to the report: https://www.casse.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/00069-PH-Kurruna-Mwarre-Ingkintja-Transcript-Interviews_Final_e-small.pdf
The research identified establishing a male leadership group, having a place for males and addressing violence as key priorities. The first recommendation has already been implemented with the establishment of Blokes On Track Aboriginal Corporation (BOTAC). We are proud to take this opportunity to introduce you to the founding members of BOTAC and look forward to sharing BOTAC’s progress and development with you in the future:
Glen Sharpe – Chairperson
Troy Appo – Deputy Chair
Kevin Corbey – Treasurer
Ian McAdam – Director
Darren Talbot – General Director (Public Officer)
Mick Campbell – General Director
Ken Lechleitner – General Director
On behalf of everyone at CASSE, I wish you a safe and happy Easter… and happy reading!