By Bernie McCormick
If we pause for a moment to consider the past year we can see how dependent and interconnected we are with others, both in our own country and with those around the world.
Many Australians who engaged in their citizenship ceremonies did so online in 2020, and there were other significant happenings around basic things like the National Anthem. At a rugby final the words to ‘Advance Australia Fair’ were translated into a local Indigenous language which the players learnt the words and sang along to, and even more recently we have changed some of the other lyrics to include those of us who are “one and free”.
These changes are part of a general recognition of all the people in this land, and part of the ongoing development of an inclusive national picture that we all share. Some of these changes have caused discussion about our culture, land and heritage. Not everybody agrees with these changes but we have a society where these types of issues can be openly discussed, debated and considered.
This discussion is as important as any words we use to define ourselves or how we want to be.
Indigenous Australians put forward their ideas in the “Uluru-Statement from the Heart”.
They chose to call their gathering to write this statement a “Makarrata” which is the culmination of an agenda that they describe as the ‘coming together after a struggle.’
Indigenous Australians offered us the chance to share their dream of what our society can be by saying…
“We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.”
It is an invitation that I believe we should accept and walk together to a better, common future for all Australians.
I hope you enjoyed the day in your own way.
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