As ever, I acknowledge and celebrate the First Australians and the traditional lands upon which my works have centred and their many Custodians and Elders, past, present and future.
I also acknowledge the many who have shared my journey through our history. I hold the deepest respect for Aboriginal Culture and recognise it belongs to the Aboriginal people. My principal researches have involved walking and researching the documented stories of relations between the original inhabitants of the South East Region and the settlers and government. Reports, maps, correspondence are all included and studied, weighed, interpreted and referenced. It’s been invigorating for me to discover more and more of the truth about what has really gone on throughout the region, the values there still evident in the landscape.
Terrible injustices have been committed over the years. The Aboriginal people have been dispossessed of their Traditional lands. Deep prejudices and language have been used to keep them ‘in their place’.
My single-minded prayer is that this nation can overcome its most conservative leanings to be able to come together and vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum for the Uluru Statement of the Heart and its Voice. My belief is that the planned Makarrata will help us find a way for truth-telling, and to honourable and just Treaties.
We might well be unable to find unanimous agreement because there are the radicals on either side who state loudly that the measures don’t go far enough, or otherwise, they go too far. Being only too aware that opinions can easily be manipulated, I believe we should use our best endeavours to bring us all together to redefine our nationhood and include the many who believe they have been left out.
This is my statement from my heart.