Pittwater Offshore Reconciliation GetTogether Meeting

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

About 30 people attended the first meeting of this group in the SI Community Hall on 29 April. The idea was to discuss reconciliation and decide whether the community wanted to do anything further - with the aim of building relationships, trust and discussion. Joy Nielsen introduced the meeting and provided the Welcome and Robyn Iredale chaired the meeting.

The meeting was part of the online political group GetUp's "Reconciliation GetTogethers" that included more than 2,000 Australians nationwide at meetings that night - to share stories, thoughts and hopes about reconciliation and Indigenous affairs.

After each person introduced themselves and their interest in the issue, the possibility of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was raised. A wide-ranging discussion was then held, focusing on what strategies would enable residents to meet with Indigenous Australians and better understand the issues they face.

It was decided that a 'go slowly' approach was needed to ensure that we do not replicate mistakes of the past and find ourselves having to say 'sorry' again at some point in the future.

The meeting decided to explore the following options and individuals took on board responsibility for doing this:
Find out what others in the local area are doing, including the two Councils;
Investigate what groups such as Oxfam, Save the Children Fund, World Vision, etc are doing on Indigenous reconciliation and see if we can tap into some of their programs;
Explore the possibility of lobbying on aspects identified by Indigenous groups;
Build links with Indigenous communities (eg in Casino, Wellington).

In the meantime, we decided to better inform ourselves about Indigenous issues. The first event will be a talk by Danielle Campbell on her innovative community development work with the Central Land Council in Alice Springs. Michael Edols, who has made a number of films on Indigenous Australians, will also give a brief talk. Matt Trapnell will provide ambient background music.

This event will be held in the Scotland Island Community Hall on Thursday 15 March at 8pm. Please bring a plate and a gold coin donation to cover the cost of the hall.
The group that organised the GetTogether meeting consisted of Barbara Labram, Lisa McDonald, Kerrie Borthwick, Tim Turpin, Annabelle Kristovic and Robyn Iredale. Jessica McGorran very kindly did the posters.
Please contact Robyn Iredale on 02 99791096 or 0425 216 350 or Joy Nielsen 02 9979 9667 or 0431 660 416 for further information.