More than a word. Reconciliation takes action. 20 Years of Reconciliation Australia.
2021 marks 20 years of Reconciliation Australia and almost 30 years of Australia’s formal reconciliation process.
‘For reconciliation to be effective, it must involve truth-telling, and actively address issues of inequality, systemic racism and instances where the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are ignored, denied or reduced’ says Karen Mundine, CEO, Reconciliation Australia. She also states, ‘Moving towards a braver reconciliation requires vision for what a just equitable and reconciled Australia looks like.’
Southern Cross University Indigenous Events Coordinating Committee (SCUIECC) invites you to hear from our panellists of Elders, SCU Staff, Momentum Collective and Reconciliation Australia as they discuss Southern Cross University’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). What are the next steps for the RAP and how do we take our RAP to the next level? How have we fared so far? What actions do we need to take towards a just and reconciled Australia?
Panellists include: Rachel Lynwood (Facilitator), Aunty Irene Harrington, Uncle Herb Roberts, Garry Kafoa, William MacNeil, Jennifer Nielsen, Erica Wilson, Stuart Barlo, Rod Williams, Sarojni Samy.
Rachel Lynwood (Facilitator) Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Southern Cross University
Rachel has taught in the discipline of Indigenous Knowledge for over 20 years, particularly in the areas of Indigenous health, social and emotional wellbeing, and trauma and resilience. Rachel also has a long trajectory of interdisciplinary teaching in the areas of cultural studies, law & justice, and midwifery in particular. Rachel is very committed to community engagement collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, one of her many key disciplinary interests is in diverse philosophical and sociological discourse.
Aunty Irene Harrington
Aunty Irene Harrington is a Widjabul Wiyabal Custodian Elder of the Bundjalung Nation. Aunty Irene has had a long association with Southern Cross University and is currently Co-Chair of Sothern Cross University’s Reconciliation Action Plan Committee and a member of the Southern Cross University Elders Council. She continues to advocate for Indigenous education and is passionate about sharing her Bundjalung language, history and culture with the community.
William MacNeil Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, Southern Cross University
Professor William MacNeil is The Honourable John Dowd Chair in Law; the Dean of Law, Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, Southern Cross University (SCU); and Co-Chair of the SCU Reconciliation Action Plan Committee. He is also Facilitator of the Council of Australian Law Deans’ (CALD) Working Party on First Peoples’ Partnership and helped to draft the official CALD Statement on Australian Law’s Systemic Racism and Structural Bias Against the First Nations Peoples.
Uncle Herb Robert
Uncle Herb Roberts is a Widjabul Wiyabal Elder. He was born in Lismore and started life at Cubawee Mission. In 1962 Uncle Herb moved to Evans Head and has resided there ever since. He has been an active member of community organisations most of his life. Uncle Herb is passionate about sharing his knowledge of culturally significant sites and stories at Evans Head. He teaches into the Bachelor of Indigenous Knowledge especially the unit Caring for Country and is Co-Chair of the Southern Cross University Elders Council.
Stuart Barlo Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Southern Cross University
I am an Aboriginal man from the Yuin nation situated on the far South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. I have developed and continue to develop an Indigenous research methodology using the Indigenous Australians’ understanding of the concept of yarning and its underlying principles and protocols. My current research focuses on developing an understanding for researchers both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, on how cultural principles and protocols are used to protect Indigenous knowledge and release it. As part of this research, we are continuing the discussions on the theory surrounding the concept of “the agency of Indigenous knowledge.”
Rod Williams Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Southern Cross University
Rod is a Bundjalung man (NSW) who has pursued a private sector career that extends across the industrial relations, financial, mining, small business; not for profit and university sectors at both the national and international levels. Holding a Bachelor of Business, a Member of the Australian Institute Company Directors (AIDC), Rod is currently a Lecturer at Gnibi College at Southern Cross University.
Rod established Gongan Consultancy Pty Ltd in 1993 (100% Aboriginal owned), a small specialist consultancy firm that has developed the Gongan Cross Cultural Community and Business Framework that provides a process to developing your individual cultural and corporate fit between the Community, Government and the Private Sector.
Jennifer Nielsen Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, Southern Cross University
Jennifer is a well-regarded critical legal scholar and long-standing staff member in Law and Justice at SCU. She contributed to the development of SCU’s Reconciliation Action Plan, is an ongoing member of SCU’s RAP Committee, and last year was appointed as Chair of its Indigenous Workforce Best Practice Working Party. Her research scholarship critiques the inherent normative racial and gendered biases in Anglo-Australian law and jurisprudence with a focus on the workplace. Her work is grounded in equity and diversity principles and values, and the importance of an inclusive and culturally safe working environment. She has a sustained record of service to Equity and Inclusion at SCU.
Erica Wilson Academic Portfolio Office, Southern Cross University
Professor Erica Wilson is Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Innovation), working as part of the Academic Portfolio Office team to redesign the University’s curriculum and academic portfolio towards the Southern Cross Model. Previously, Erica has held the roles of Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic (Acting), as well as interim Dean, Deputy Head and Director of Teaching and Learning in the former School of Business and Tourism. Erica’s research focuses on gender and tourism, sustainable tourism and qualitative/feminist methodologies. She is based at the Lismore campus.
Garry Kafoa Momentum Collective
I am 64 years of age and a Minjungbal Elder. I was born and raised in South Tweed Heads. My father was a Professional Fisherman and I became a Professional Fisherman after leaving school. I had a five man Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander fishing crew and fished the east coast of Australia for 27 years. At 44, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and I was forced to stop fishing, I am 21 years post Bone Marrow Transplant. At 45, I changed direction in life and started a career in helping people with Disabilities. In 2013, I was chosen as ambassador for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander People with Disabilities. In 2014, I commenced a new role as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, Drug and Alcohol and Social and Emotional Wellbeing Case Worker. In 2020, I commenced my current role as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, Advisor and Project Officer, for Momentum Collective.
Listen to "Reconciliation" by Garry Kafoa.
Sarojni Samy Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education, Reconciliation Australia
Sarojni Samy is an Aboriginal woman from the Nukunu people of South Australia and was born in Alice Springs, Northern Territory. With a Science Degree in Psychology and a Teaching Degree in Primary Education, she has previously worked for the Department of Education and joined Reconciliation Australia in 2016. While at Reconciliation Australia she has worked in the Indigenous Governance Partnership Program, Reconciliation Action Plan Program and now the Narragunnawali Program, where she manages the Education and Training workplace RAP portfolio. Sarojni lives and works in Canberra on Ngunnawal country and is passionate about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s cultures, histories, art, and achievements.