Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 7 June 2018) . . Page.. 2235 ..
Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—Bimberi Headline Indicators Report March 2018—Revised.
Motion (by Mr Gentleman) proposed:
That the Assembly do now adjourn.
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (4.21): Reconciliation Week was held from 27 May to 3 June this year, just last week, and it gave us the opportunity to reflect on our history and engagement with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The theme of this year’s Reconciliation Week was “Don’t keep history a mystery: learn, share, grow.” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have lived in Australia for an estimated 40,000 years, which makes their culture one of the oldest surviving cultures in the world. This week gives us an opportunity to reflect on this and celebrate it.
While most Australians recognise the dark parts of our history, such as government policies that forced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to be removed from their homes and families, we also need to recognise that the trauma of that history has ongoing effects for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today. We need to work together to eliminate stigma and intergenerational trauma, and the struggle to do this continues. Through Reconciliation Week, we are given an opportunity to deepen our understanding of history and the impacts of intergenerational trauma. “Learn, share, grow”: that is what we are called upon to learn about our history as a nation and as a community.
One of the really positive ways we can do this is to look at some remarkable individuals. One is Evonne Cawley, a Wiradjuri woman and, incidentally, a tennis star. She was ranked as the world’s number one in 1971 and 1976. Out of this, she created a legacy called the Evonne Goolagong Foundation, which uses tennis as a platform for promoting education, health and wellbeing for future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. The foundation aims to give children the opportunity to be the best they can be. The foundation has awarded students with scholarships and produced university scholars, tennis players, coaches and sports administrators, and provided employee placements for many of them.
She has also shared her story with all of us through her bestselling autobiography Home! The Evonne Goolagong Story. We should all have an opportunity to share her story. Her success has benefitted so many people, and it should be shared. Evonne has truly changed many young Australians’ lives, and she will change and inspire many more.
This week I have taken the time to reflect on stories like Evonne’s and others that demonstrate the positive contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are every day making to our community. The quality of the relationship between