Page 1701 - Week 06 - Thursday, 30 July 2020

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Thursday, 30 July 2020

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) (10.00): Members:

Dhawura nguna, dhawura Ngunnawal.

Yanggu ngalawiri, dhunimanyin Ngunnawalwari dhawurawari.

Nginggada Dindi dhawura Ngunnaawalbun yindjumaralidjinyin.

The words I have just spoken are in the language of the traditional custodians and translate to:

This is Ngunnawal country.

Today we are gathering on Ngunnawal country.

We always pay respect to Elders, female and male, and Ngunnawal country.

Members, I ask you to stand in silence and pray or reflect on our responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Ngunnawal language in the Assembly

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, with indulgence, can I say just a few words and then invite the leaders to share in this moment. It gives me great pleasure to recognise members of the Elders Council and those involved in the Ngunnawal community. Today saw the first acknowledgement made in this Assembly in Ngunnawal language. Previously in this Assembly the Speaker made a formal recognition that the Assembly is meeting on the Ngunnawal people’s traditional lands, and that the Ngunnawal people are traditional custodians. This is reflected in Hansard and in the minutes of each day’s sitting.

On Thursday, 28 November, this Assembly went a step further. On that day, a motion was moved jointly by Mr Rattenbury, Mr Milligan and Ms Stephen-Smith that called upon the Assembly to resolve that the Speaker would use a Ngunnawal language introduction at the beginning of each and every sitting day, and that this would be recorded in the minutes and in Hansard. In a display of tripartisan unity, the Assembly welcomed the motion and agreed to it. Today it has been my great honour and privilege to be the first Speaker to have spoken in Ngunnawal language in this Assembly.

I would like to commend the work of my colleagues and all of the parties in drafting the motions, and the co-sponsors who introduced it to the chamber. It was acknowledged during the debate on 28 November that this was the first time in the history of this Assembly that a motion was co-sponsored by all three parties. It was further acknowledged that, while we may not always agree on things in this place, on this matter, on the recognition of the Ngunnawal people and the importance and value of their custodianship, their culture and their language, we were one and we were united.

The Assembly’s resolution also represents the first time that any parliament in Australia has agreed to speak the opening acknowledgement in a traditional

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