This image of a ceremony was captured by Beverly Baker at the Yabun Festival. This festival is held annually in recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in Australia. Yabun means ‘music to a beat’ in Gadigal language.
Let’s join together in support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by walking with them in the spirit of true reconciliation.
It is a privilege to be living in a country with the oldest continuous civilisation on earth, extending back over 65,000 years. When Australia was colonized by the British in 1788, it led to the displacement, oppression, and genocide of Indigenous peoples.
The Uluru Statement of the Heart is a powerful call to recognize and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. It is an invitation to all of us to recognize the sovereignty of First Nations peoples and engage in a process of truth-telling and treaty-making. OWN NSW joins other organizations across the country to say YES in the historic referendum as an important step towards reconciliation.
OWN NSW supports the Uluru Statement From the Heart, the call for a First Nation’s Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution and a Makarrata Commission to oversee agreement-making and truth-telling.
We also acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.
Always Was, Always Will Be.
Enshrining a First Nations Voice to Parliament in the Australian Constitution is about enhancing the participation of First Nations people in the democratic life of the state.
It will mean that this country’s First Peoples will have a direct say on the laws and policies that affect us. Currently this does not occur and the change will compel the government to listen to communities.
VOICE, TREATY, TRUTH
OWN NSW supports a referendum to have a Voice to Parliament enshrined in the constitution and a YES vote at the upcoming referendum.
What is the Voice? Read “The Voice: what is it, where did it come from, and what can it achieve?” The Conversation by Appleby & Synot
A treaty is a signed, negotiated agreement that accepts our history and opens the door to a shared future. Australia doesn’t have a treaty with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. OWN NSW believes a treaty would help secure sovereignty and self-determination.
What is a treaty? Read “What actually is a treaty? What could it mean for indigenous people? The Conversation by Hobbs, Norman & Walsh.
OWN NSW acknowledges the past injustices and we want all governments to create change to make a better future. Truth-telling involves working towards reconciliation by educating people about the true history of Australia, including the genocides, massacres, the Frontier Wars and ongoing discrimination and racism. OWN NSW is committed to supporting truth telling, educating ourselves and our community.
What is truth telling? Read “First Nations people have made a plea for ‘truth-telling’. By reckoning with its past, Australia can finally help improve our future”. The Conversation by Hurst & Maddison.
A Gadigal man performing a smoking ceremony at the Yabun festival. Photo by Beverly Baker.
What Action can you take?
Support an alteration to the constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice – Vote ‘Yes’ at the referendum.
OWN NSW’s Aboriginal Support Circle
The Aboriginal Support Circle was formed in 1994 (during the decade of reconciliation) by a group of Aborignal and non-Aborignal women with the aim of studying our history, customs and culture and to spread this knowledge to the general population.
Resources to Familiarise ourselves With The issues
Watch ‘From dreams, let’s make it a reality’ reflecting the views and voices of First Nations women and girls across Australia.
Watch Paul Keating’s 1992 Redfern Park Speech . In the speech, Keating became the first prime minister to acknowledge the impact of European settlement on the indigenous inhabitants of Australia, paving the way for a formal apology to Aboriginal Australians in 2007.
First Nation peoples ARE 15 times more likely to be staying in improvised dwellings, tents or sleep rough & they make up 25% of the homeless population
5,820 First nations peoples make up 27% of the incarcerated population
8.6 years less for males
7.8 years less for females