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Mark's 2 minute guide to understanding Symbolism, Substance & Showing Solidarity in Australia.

Updated: Jun 24

Another QUICK guide to help EMPOWER us for AUSTRALIAN RECONCILIATION by SNU Chief, Mark Yettica-Paulson. PLUS a PDF to download and SHARE below. Let's Go!!


Five Things You Need to Know:


1. It is not a choice between Symbolism or Substance. We need BOTH the symbolic gestures and the substance to make progress on our relationships.


2. Symbolism in Reconciliation is important. It provides icons, images and moments to reflect on who we are as Australians and what is important to us and our relationships with the First Nations. One of the best examples of Symbolism in Reconciliation is The Apology by Prime Minister Rudd. For things you should know about the Apology see this article from Luke Pearson: 10 Things You Should Know About The National Apology. You might also like this 10th Anniversary Behind The News episode.


Another powerful example of Symbolism is The Driveway at Dawn movement, maintaining ceremonies and practices of ANZAC during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.


3. Substance in Reconciliation is important. It goes beyond the rhetoric and pragmatically demonstrates the willingness to do the hard work of making changes in practices, policies, beliefs and systems. A great example of the Substance work is in the Bringing Them Home video (see 22:36 to 26:57) where Prof Mick Dodson outlines the recommendations.


4. Solidarity in Reconciliation is important. It shows that we stand together to deal with our challenges and take our opportunities. First Nations have been advocating for rights and for an improved relationship together as Australians for decades.


“We do not ask for your charity…We ask only for justice, decency and fair play…Fellow-Australians, we appeal to you to be guided by your own common sense and ideas of fair play and justice!' (Jack Patten and William Ferguson in 1938, National Day of Mourning statement)


The call for Solidarity from 1938 calls us to action TODAY. For an insight into the legacy of the 1938 National Day of Mourning see NITV’s story on John Patten. You might also be interested in Bill Ferguson’s story.


5. Everyone Has A Legitimate Starting Point! Whatever your starting point is, it is legitimate for you to show some form of solidarity. MY TOP TIP: Follow the advice of Shannan Dodson, a Yawuru woman living in Sydney, and a National NAIDOC Committee member.


Here's the PDF to share and circulate amongst your peers and communities.

Mark's Guide to Symbolism, Substance and
Download • 270KB

Peace

Mark Yettica-Paulson,


Chief.

Super Native Unlimited.




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