Babana News â€“ Edition 3&4
Closing the Gap / Coloured Digger Anzac Event
Babana News Special two part edition
I would like to welcome you to our double edition of Babana News. We have received many emails and telephone calls to see when the next edition would be coming out. As most know a lot of time goes into making our events a success and with our focus being on ensuring that Coloured Digger Anzac Event over the last month it was important that most of our work was in line with this. The management committee here at Babana decided that it would be important to focus on two of our most important events in this special two part edition. Babana Closing the Gap Day and Our Coloured Diggers Anzac Event are the focus to this extended edition. I would like to extend a special thank you to those who assisted us in our recent Coloured Digger Anzac Event. The Volunteers from Tribal Warrior and the University of New South Wales (ABS) were amazing. We have also received some fantastic news since the last newsletter as we have been successful in gaining an additional IEP Contract. I hope that you enjoy this edition and look forward to hearing your feedback and remember that our Menâ€™s group meets on the last Friday of the month from 12noon at Club Redfern
Closing the Gap Babana has been placing the Closing the Gap at the top of our agenda for the last few years. Unlike some organisations who only focus on the health aspect of the gap between Indigenous and Non Indigenous people we focus on Health, Education, Employment and Culture. We held our annual Closing the Gap event with the assistance of New Horizons and the City of Sydney Council. Without their support the event would not have been as successful and we value their continued support of our events and initiatives. Each of the four areas play a key role in our community and we look forward to working with our Indigenous and Non Indigenous brothers and sisters to see real change for our people.
HEALTH The Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern, Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation, Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group and Sydney and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts Health Promotion Service and Aboriginal Health Unit have been working in partnership to develop the Aboriginal Tobacco Control Project. The Aboriginal Tobacco Control Project aims to contribute to a reduction in smoking prevalence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities in Sydney’s south west. The campaign has been developed following extensive research including: o o
690 surveys of Aboriginal community members in the Sydney’s south west region which found that 71% of smokers are thinking of quitting within the next 6 months. Consultations with Aboriginal Health Workers and members of the community across the area to assist in developing a social marketing campaign. This included: in-depth interviews -
focus testing groups
recordings of personal stories
The Aboriginal Tobacco Project resources have been extensively focus tested with groups of community members across the area (Redfern, Miller, Airds and Rosemeadow). Keep an eye out for our campaign resources that will appear as: o o
Billboards Bus advertisements
Newspaper advertisements Magazine advertisements. Future plans include advertising, community grants, promoting smoke-free environments and the provision of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). We will also be attending some upcoming community events so be on the lookout for us for a chance to have your say. Visit http://iquitbecause.org.au for more information on this important initiative
"By what you get, you make a living; what you give, however, makes a life" â€• Arthur Asche
I recall telling a few of the Nura Gili staff about the event I was organising for World's Greatest Shave just after my interview for a job as an Ambassador. I've been involved with Nura Gili for three years, and am now going into my second year of Arts/Law at UNSW after coming through Nura Gili's Pre-Program. When Nura Gili staff asked me to write an article about my endeavour to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation, I thought I knew exactly what I'd write. But now that I'm here, I find that explaining my decision and the motivation behind it isn't quite so easy as I'd thought. The 'moment' wasn't particularly unique; there wasn't an outburst of compassion that stemmed from some sudden tragedy in my life. I was standing at the sink rinsing out some cups and the advertisement for the World's Greatest Shave had come on the TV across from where I was standing. I hadn't looked up, and the only thing I made out over the sound of running water and the clinking of glass was "be brave and shave". I thought, why the heck not?
Within the hour, I'd been online and I'd signed up as a shaver. I'd set my fundraising goal at an ambitious $1000 and secretly prayed that I would reach at least $500 in the six weeks before the day I'd designated for the shave. I made an event on Facebook, made a joke about changing the lives of those with blood cancer "one hairless head at a time" and appealed to my friends for support. That was Monday, and by Sunday I had already hit $1,000. To say there wasn't a tragedy in my life would be untrue. My aunty had been diagnosed with Wegner's granulomatosis three years ago, which is a rare type of vasculitis. I'd known she was sick, but I was away with Uni and trying to establish a stable life for myself in Sydney and the reality of her illness hadn't caught up with me. By some cruel twist of fate, her health declined a week after I made the decision to do the World's Greatest Shave and two weeks before I shaved my head, she passed away. It's not easy to write about now, because I still feel a lot of guilt and am too scared to let myself
feel the grief of it because of how it will affect my ability to function. Even though I'd made the "noble" decision to give up my hair, I'd still taken someone I loved for granted. So the day itself, though dedicated to her memory, was a day of sadness. But we have managed so far to raise $3,200 - more than 300% of my original goal - which will help patients and families battling with the reality of life-threatening illness. What this journey has made me realise though, is that it is in our power to make a difference in the lives of others. We can all afford to give - if it's a little change from our pockets, or a little of our time. You will be surprised at how big a difference even the smallest gesture can make. It may even exceed your expectations by 300%. Sharleigh Smith is an Indigenous student currently studying Arts Law at UNSW. She attended the UNSW Indigenous pre-program in Law in 2011. If you want to learn more, you can visit the World's Greatest Shave website or the Leukaemia Foundation's website: www.worldsgreatestshave.com www.leukaemiafoundation.org.au
Education Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group is proud to be associated with the University of New South Wales Indigenous Unit Nura Gili. Professor Nakata the Director of the Unit has been supportive of our men’s group and we were proud that the first community group to utilize their board room was for our Men’s group. The University is working to close the gap on education and it isn’t just about the numbers, they are looking at getting the right students in and working with them from day one to graduation. There are a number of events/programs coming up at Nura Gili this year which include:
UNSW Year 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Info Day What’s next? Want to explore your options and possibilities? Then come along to the UNSW Year 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Info Day and have all your questions answered.
Date: Wed, 24th July 2013 I 9:00am – 3:30pm Location: Rex Vowels Theatre, UNSW Kensington Campus SYDNEY NSW 2052 (Buiding F17 on UNSW map)
Our Info Day is a great opportunity for you to get the right information regarding your degree choices, scholarships, accommodation, student life, entry pathways and more. You will have the chance to interact and chat face to face with faculty staff, UNSW service providers and current UNSW students as well being taken on a guided campus tour by current UNSW students. Through your participation in the Info Day we aim to:
Build awareness of UNSW and Nura Gili programs Build a stronger focus on higher education Build a relationship between you, a prospective UNSW student, and current UNSW students To assist in closing the gap between transitioning from high school to university To inform you of opportunities and entry pathways into degree programs at UNSW Target Audience
Year 12 Indigenous high school students within the Sydney Region TAFE students studying the Tertiary Preparation Certificate or equivalent For further information please contact Leearna Williams, 02 9385 8306 or Summa Naylor, 02 9385 1642 or via email@example.com
UNSW Indigenous Winter School 2013
Winter School is a program specifically for Indigenous students in years 10, 11 and 12 who are considering further studies beyond high school. The week long residential program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to experience what university life is all about, through participation in academic lectures and tutorials, presentations, study sessions, team building activities, interacting with university staff, current students and fellow applicants, cultural activities and more. To add to the experience, accommodation is provided in colleges on campus and the whole program is at no cost to the student.
Indigenous Spring Forum
Wednesday 4th – Friday 6th September 2013
“All I wanted was to be a university graduate in a degree that I knew I would love and attending the Spring forum in 2011 helped me to do that. They inspired me to follow my dreams, they gave me the confidence to apply and just go for it and they helped me every step of the way “ Quinton Vea Vea Quinton is currently in his second year at UNSW studying Exercise Physiology. If you are you 18 + over Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person considering further study at university, the UNSW Indigenous Spring Forum could be for you! The whole program, including meals, travel to and from UNSW and residential accommodation is provided at no cost to the student. Applications now open For more information please contact: Nura Gili on (02) 9385 3805 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring Forum Video http://tv.unsw.edu.au/video/unsw-indigenous-spring-forum1
Pre-Programs Are you seeking entry into UNSW in the area of Business, Social Work, Law or Medicine? Nura Gili, in conjunction with participating Faculties and Schools at UNSW, has developed preparatory programs, open to Indigenous students who are looking to explore the areas of Business, Law, Medicine and Social Work, and apply for entry into undergraduate degree programs offered at UNSW.
We would also like to acknowledge a local Redfern organisation that is working with our young ones to increase their literacy â€“ The Martian Embassy
The Sydney Story Factory is a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people, which opened on July 21, 2012. It aims to ignite creativity in every child by offering free help from volunteer tutors to write all kinds of stories. Programs target marginalised children, particularly those from indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds, but are open to all. The writing centre is accessed through a themed entrance and gift shop. Will O'Rourke produced, conceptualised, designed and constructed the space for The Sydney Story Factory. Our rostered creative partners at The Glue Society and LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture), our production staff, and building specialists collaborated on the multitude of project elements. The Glue Society developed the brand identity - The Martian Embassy - a space that has been taken over by creatures from Mars. We created and sourced over 30 'Made on Mars' gift products to sell in store and other Martian decor from the Red Planet. LAVA working with the idea of Mars architecturally designed a space with a truly Martian look and feel - split into an embassy at the front, gift shop in the middle and the writing centre in the back. Our builders and construction specialists collaborated with us to build a truly memorable space that will be a permanent fixture on the Redfern streetscape. The launch received national media attention across television, radio, newspaper, and online.
The Martian Embassy is found at 176 Redfern Street, Redfern.
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander? Unemployed? Seeking a Career Change? Re-Entering the Workforce? Babana Aboriginal Men's Group has an employment element and we work to get you into sustainable employment. Too often people are given wrong advice or told that they are not suitable for employment. Our Employment Coordinator Mark Spinks will work with you to find the right job. We know that employment is one of the most important aspects of our lives and it has a flow on effect to our Health and Wellbeing. If you want to know more please contact Mark on 0411 282 917 or come into the Babana Office. Babana has recently been awarded an additional IEP contract after our successful placement of a number of Aboriginal Men and Women.
Culture Babana Members David Pross, Jeremy Heathcote and Robert Pankhurst along with Professor Martin Nakata, Sonia Powell, Dr Reuben Bolt, Dr Duane Hamacher and representatives from Microsoft including Prof Wong from the United States were involved in visiting a number of Aboriginal sites on the Central Coast and also Northern Sydney. Visiting the sites was an amazing experience for the visiting guests of Nura Gili and both David and Robert provided everyone with an in-depth insight into the many stories related to the sites. We would like to thank Prof Nakata for inviting Babana along to this important event and look forward to working with the research project in the future. Keeping Aboriginal culture in the public space is important for ensuring that the gap in knowledge is lessened and that Non Indigenous Australians gain a greater understanding of our culture.
Babana Director David Pross and Member Robert Pankhurst explaining to Prof Wong the importance of the site on the Central Coast. This site unfortunately is located in a place where some of the site has been destroyed in the past. It was important that this was pointed out to our guests from overseas as the need to secure our culture should be at the top of the agenda.
Babana Member David Pross presents Prof Wong with Babana Shirt
Babana Directors Jeremy Heathcote and David Pross with Prof Curtis Wong from Microsoft (US)
Feature Article â€“ Closing the Gap Rebecca Harcourt
Coloured Digger Anzac Event 2013
"THE COLOURED DIGGER" He came and joined the colours, when the War God's anvil rang, He took up modern weapons to replace his boomerang, He waited for no call-up, he didn't need a push, He came in from the stations, and the townships of the bush. He helped when help was wanting, just because he wasn't deaf; He is right amongst the columns of the fighting A.I.F. He is always there when wanted, with his Owen gun or Bren, He is in the forward area, the place where men are men. He proved he's still a warrior, in action not afraid, He faced the blasting red-hot fire from mortar and grenade; He didn't mind when food was low, or we were getting thin, He didn't growl or worry then, he'd cheer us with his grin. He'd heard us talk democracy--, They preach it to his face-Yet knows that in our Federal House there's no one of his race. He feels we push his kinsmen out, where cities do not reach, And Parliament has yet to hear the Abo's maiden speech. One day he'll leave the Army, then join the League he shall, And he hope's we'll give a better deal to the Aboriginal. (By Sapper Bert Beros, a non-Aboriginal soldier in World War Two. Written about an Aboriginal soldier, Private West). (This poem is the inspiration behind the Coloured Digger Project.)
The Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group, The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans and Service Association and the Coloured Digger Committee once again worked to provide our community the annual Anzac event where both Indigenous and Non Indigenous returned service personnel and community can join together to Honour, recognise and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and servicewomen The Theme for our 2013 event was to focus on the Prisoners of War especially those who were of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. The Redfern Aboriginal ANZAC Day Commemoration:
appropriately honours, recognises and respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and servicewomen.
raises awareness in the wider community about the service and sacrifices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families.
highlights the need for greater recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Servicemen and Servicewomen in official commemorative ceremonies and at memorials.
The Redfern ANZAC Day has prompted calls by NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Diggers and their families for a commemorative sculpture or memorial recognising their service and sacrifice. The Redfern Aboriginal ANZAC Day organising committee has been lobbying the City of Sydney and the NSW Government for such a memorial for more than five years. Despite initial interest, it appears this official recognition is still a long way from being a reality. Linda Boney who has been associated with our Men’s Group through the work that we do with the Prince of Wales Hospital is the daughter of an Aboriginal Prisoner of war. It was with great pride from our organizing committee that Linda agreed to be a part of this year’s event. We would like to lead off honouring our Indigenous Prisoners of War with information on Gunner Suey who sadly became a missing person and was never found. We wish to thank the Australian War Memorial for the following photographs. We especially want to acknowledge Mr. Gary Oakley, the Australian War Memorial's Indigenous Liaison Officer for his tireless work in researching and publishing the feats of our Unsung Heroes.
Percy Suey was the son of Joseph and Harriet Suey (nee Briggs) born on the 10th March 1912 at Bora Crossing Manilla NSW. Percy put his age up four years to be accepted into the AIF and gave his mother Harriet Suey as his next of kin at Curlewis. Percy also gave his name as Percy Morris Suey and he joined on the 20th August 1941. Army No: NX43172 1st T/Regiment 2/15 Rank: GUNNER Taken to Paddington, Sydney and then embarked to Singapore per the ship Highland Chieftan. Served on continuous full time war service in the AIF 20th of August 1941 to the 1st December 1945, comprising 1565, 52 days in Australia, 1513 days overseas. Reported missing in action on the 13th April 1942, believed to be taken prisoner in Malaya. When Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942 Percy was taken as prisoner-of-war by the Japanese and put to work on the construction of the Burma railway. Whilst a prisoner of war Percy “Gunner” Suey was hit on the head with the butt of a rifle by a Japanese guard. At wars end he embarked at Singapore (on the same ship the Highland Chieftan that had transported overseas) and disembarked at Sydney on the 11th October 1946. Presented with War Badge No: A15130 Because of the head injury he received at the hands of the Japanese soldier, Percy was granted a medical discharge on the 1st December 1945. Percy returned to Moree but during the late 1970’s became a missing person and he was never found.
Description Group portrait, left to right; 6020 Private (Pte) Douglas Grant, 13th Battalion (Bn), 467 Pte Harry Avery, 45th Bn, and unidentified British soldier. Pte Grant first enlisted in the AIF in 1916 but was discharged because of regulations restricting Aboriginal people from serving. He successfully reenlisted and while serving with the 13th Bn was captured at Bullecourt, France, in April 1917. During his time as a prisoner of war in Germany, Grant, a talented artist, was of great interest to German scientists and anthropologists. One German scientist described Grant as "an unmistakable figure", who was appointed by his fellow prisoners to take charge of relief parcels because of "his honesty, his quick mind, and because he was so aggressively Australian". Grant returned to Australia on 10 April 1919. He died in Australia in 1951. Pte Avery enlisted on the 9 September 1914. Avery was captured while serving with the 45th Bn in France and later died of wounds at a German field hospital on 25 May 1918.
Studio portrait of Australian Aboriginal Prisoner of War (POW) 360 Private (Pte) Reginald Francis Hawkins, 42nd Battalion, from Jericho, Queensland who enlisted at the age of 23 on 29 October 1915 and embarked for overseas on 5 June 1916 aboard HMAT Borda. He was hit by a shell in the left leg and right side of the head and captured at Armentieres, France, on 14 February 1917. A report from a fellow soldier stated; "I knew Hawkins who had been a buck jumper rider, and had travelled with a show. About the 14th February we were near Armentieres and the Germans made a night raid. They got into our trench but were quickly ejected. After the raid Hawkins and I believe another man were missing. No trace of Hawkins could be found, and it was believed that he had been taken prisoner". After he was taken prisoner, Pte Hawkins was assigned the POW identity number 6.6518, the first 6 referring to his Prisoner group in the camp. He can be seen wearing this number on his prisoner uniform. Private Hawkins was held as a POW in various camps in Germany until he was repatriated to England on 10 January 1919 and arrived back in Australia on 12 May 1919. Private Hawkins is the brother of the Roughrider (horsebreaker) Harry Hawkins of the 2nd Remount Unit. One of a series of over 400 photographs sent by Australian POWs in German camps to Miss M. E. Chomley, Secretary, Prisoners Department, Australian-British Red Cross Society, London. Original album housed in AWM Research Centre at RC00864, Album image number 293.
Portrait of Tommy Negus Green, Prisoner of War at Stalag XIIIc at Hammelburg, smoking a pipe. Green, an aboriginal serviceman, had been named 'Negus' by the German guards at the camp. He is probably NX22784 Thomas Harold Green, 2/1 Battalion of Collarenebri, NSW (born at Booyulgil [Baryulgil]).
Group portrait of Australian Prisoners of War from Stalag XIIIc at Hammelburg outside a bakery in a nearby town. These men were part of an Arbeitskommando [work group] sent out into nearby towns to work in a variety of jobs. This group worked in the bakery under the direction of VX600 Gunner Albert James Wills, 2/2 Field Artillery Regiment of East Brunswick, Vic, who prior to enlistment had had six months training as a baker. Identified, left to right, back row: unidentified; Billy; unidentified; WX2605 Private (Pte) Fred Hill; Bluey Mills; VX600 Albert Wills; unidentified. Front row: unidentified; Maxi; NX7459 Pte Leonard Herbert Steer; VX13396 Pte Victor Francis Potter; NX15204 Corporal George William Staughton; unidentified; Tommy 'Negus' Green, an aboriginal serviceman (probably NX22784 Thomas Harold Green, 2/1 Battalion of Collarenebri, NSW (born at Booyulgil [Baryulgil]); 'Dusty' Gilligan. Tommy Green had been named 'Negus' (A beverage of wine, hot water, lemon juice, sugar, and nutmeg) by the German guards at Stalag XIIIc. The photographer was an unidentified padre at the camp who, it is believed, was later executed by the Germans.
Informal portrait of two Aboriginal servicemen, NX31736 Private (Pte) Frederick Beale (left) and his brother NX31660 Pte George Henry Beale (right), with NX31623 Pte Michael Joseph (Joe) Lynch (centre), all of the 2/20th Battalion. All three were captured, and became prisoners of war (POWs), in Singapore after its fall on 15 February 1942. Both Pte Beales spent time in Changi POW camp before being sent to Naoetsu Camp in Japan with C Force on board Kamakura Maru, and were forced to work as steel mill labourers. Pte George Beale died on the operating table, from injuries sustained in an accident after working a 24 hour shift, on 28 May 1943. His brother, Pte Frederick Beale was released just four months later. Pte Lynch was transported to Thailand with D Force, U Battalion, and worked on the Burma-Thai Railway.
Informal portrait Aboriginal serviceman NX31736 Private (Pte) Frederick Beale, 2/20th Battalion as a Prisoner of War (POW) in Naoetsu camp, wearing his POW number, 84, on his jacket. He was captured, along with his brother, NX31660 Pte George Henry Beale after the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942 and spent time in Changi POW camp before being sent to Naoetsu Camp in Japan with C Force on board Kamakura Maru, and were forced to work as steel mill labourers. Pte George Beale died on the operating table, from injuries sustained in an accident after working a 24 hour shift, on 28 May 1943. His brother, Pte Frederick Beale was released just four months later.
Informal group portrait of Allied former prisoners of war (POWs) on the British hospital ship Tjitjalenkga, being repatriated to Australia. Aboriginal serviceman, NX31736 Private Frederick Beale is seated in the front row on the extreme left. He was captured, along with his brother, NX31660 Pte George Henry Beale after the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942 and spent time in Changi POW camp before being sent to Naoetsu Camp in Japan with C Force on board Kamakura Maru, and were forced to work as steel mill labourers. Pte George Beale died on the operating table, from injuries sustained in an accident after working a 24 hour shift, on 28 May 1943. His brother, Pte Frederick Beale was released just four months later.
Studio portrait of 403215 (O210106) Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) David Valentine Paul DFC RAAF. Flt Lt Paul enlisted on 4 January 1941 and trained as a pilot with the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) in Rhodesia. He was posted to 454 Squadron RAAF. Flying a Baltimore aircraft from a base in North Africa he was shot down on 4 December 1943 during a sortie over the Mediterranean. Rescued from the sea he became a prisoner of war (POW) of the Germans, finally being released in 1945 at Stalag IVb POW camp in 1945 at Muhlberg, Germany. He joined the NSW Police Force after the war and remained in the RAAF Reserve rising to the rank of Squadron Leader.
Sydney Morning Herald Article
Sixty-seven years is a long wait to receive your medals for service in the Second World War. For indigenous soldier Percy Suey it was too long. He died before he received them. The three daughters of the Australian gunner held prisoner for 1370 days in the notorious Changi prison finally received the medals on his behalf on Thursday
. Special tribute: Percy Suey. Photo: Tamara Dean A special tribute was paid to Gunner Suey at the Redfern Aboriginal Anzac Day commemoration to honour prisoners of war. Governor Marie Bashir presented the medals. Gunner Suey was born in 1912 in Manilla in central NSW. He was living in Moree when he volunteered in 1941 and joined the 2/15 Field Regiment. He was reported missing in action in Malaya and believed to have been taken prisoner. When Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942 he was put to work on the Burma railway. At Changi he sustained head injuries when he tried to protect another POW from a beating by prison guards. He never recovered from his injuries and was granted a medical discharge. He returned to Moree, and in 1976 disappeared and was declared a missing person. Daughter Linda Boney, an Aboriginal liaison officer at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, said there had never been closure over her father's death or a grave by which to remember him. ''He was up the street in Moree in the morning and disappeared that afternoon,'' she said.
''The police dragged the waters but I wasn't quite satisfied with that. We found a lot of our father's identification papers out at the local dump. ''He served in World War II for three years and came home to a town like Moree, which was full of discrimination. ''It was a hard life for my father to come home to. He was never allowed to go into the RSL in Moree. The only day he was allowed in there was Anzac Day. ''Getting dad's medals is a special occasion. It is only through the Babana Aboriginal Men's Group in Redfern and Pastor Ray Minniecon that we are getting them. ''It's the first time we have had a bit of light shine on our dad.'' Father Minniecon said: ''It is a long time to wait for the medals. I believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans would welcome an offer of reconciliation from the RSL national office to work with them to see them marching at the front of the line on Anzac Day in 2014.'' Lord Mayor Clover Moore said a memorial to the contribution of indigenous people in war was ''well on the road to becoming a reality''. The proposal is for an artwork in Hyde Park south to be known as the Coloured Diggers' Memorial. ''We plan to launch the project on Anzac Day next year,'' Cr Moore said.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/light-finally-shines-on-gunner-percy20130425-2ihhl.html#ixzz2RWszKgVJ
Feedback from one of our Guests Master of New College and NSW Business Chamber Board Member
I sent a copy of the program to my daughter, her husband and their 4 children in Cambridge and suggested that they might consider the poem in their home school lessons (they are there for 6 months). They intend to do this, my grandchildren are passionate about reconciliation and have a strong interest in Indigenous history and culture. They were read Dreamtime stories by me from the age of 2 years. My overwhelming headline impressions were: 1. What a privilege and honour to be asked 2. How accepting everyone was of me as a non-Indigenous person 3. The warmth, familiarity and community demonstrated amongst everyone gathered 4. How well the organisers combined good organisation, informality & spontaneity 5. The significance of the event Some highlights for me: The wonderful sense of community demonstrated at Redfern Park as people were honoured for their service to a nation that has been slow to honour Indigenous Australians and even slower to address issues of justice. There was a humility and love for one's fellow man/woman that was significant and moving. Being asked to join the march was a wonderful gesture of kindness to me and other white Australians. While I felt a bit of a fraud being in the midst of the many community members, it was memorable and a great privilege.
I was also moved by the various elements of ceremony, the smoking ceremony, dance and music, speeches and hospitality back at The Block. When we arrived at The Block as the police horses stood against the foreground of the The Block and the background of the city, I was reminded of how much there is to be done. The sense of ownership that the traditional owners feel for the land (demonstrated and sensed by me at The Block) is in stark contrast to a sprawling city and its people who pay little regard to the land and fail to understand what it means for the traditional custodians. The honouring of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was wonderful. The dance, presentation of Percy Suey's medals, presentations, prayers, song, Bible reading and speeches all helped to create a fitting tribute to a forgotten contribution to our nation. All in all, it was a memorable two and a half hours. Thanks to all involved, especially Jeremy and the 'Babana' Men's Group (what a wonderful group).
Professor Trevor Cairney is Master and CEO of New College at the University of NSW. New College is an independent incorporated entity that serves UNSW. In January 2013 New College UNSW students Matthew Cork, Ben Cummins, Tim Curtain, Sarah Hyland, Makenzie Russel, Khierah Salam, Ross Willing and Matt Zaidan and myself travelled to Bourke spending the week as Volunteers with the PCYC Bourke. In early 2012 New College students Dan May, Ross Willing, Matt Zaidan on recommendation from the Master of New College Professor Trevor Cairney approached me with a student initiative to create ties with New College and an Aboriginal Community in Regional NSW, I offered to facilitate links between New College and my community connections in Bourke recommending the students approach Jake and Tareka at PCYC Bourke in the first instance about the possibility of being involved with the PCYC programs as a starting point to build a reciprocal relationship between New College and Bourke. In April 2013, The Hon Peter Garrett AM, MP, Minister for School Education, Early Childhood & Youth and the local member for the federal electorate of Kingsford-Smith was a key speaker at New College formal dinner. Two of the New College students, Makenzie Russel and Tim Curtain presented about our experience in January in Bourke and with encouragement from the Master invited more students to be involved with a next trip planned in July 2013. The Master also announced New College ongoing commitment to building reciprocal relationships with the Bourke community. Special guests included Jeremy Heathcote, Lisa Harrison, Carol Vale and myself. Rebecca Harcourt Program Manager Indigenous Business Education and Editor of Nura Gili News
Thank you and Acknowledgements Babana would like to thank the following people for helping to make our Coloured Digger Anzac event such a success.
Organising Committee. Harry Allie. NSW ATSIVSA. Pastor Ray Minniecon. Hope Street. Mark Spinks: Chairperson: Babana Men’s Group. Jeremy Heathcote: Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group/Nura Gili Linda Boney – Prince of Wales Hospital David Pross: Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group Sup. Luke Freudenstein APM: Redfern LAC Her Excellency, The Governor of NSW: Professor Marie Bashir.AC CVO The Lord Mayor of Sydney: Ms Clover Moore Tanya Plibersek Federal Member for Sydney. Redfern Police. Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group. City of Sydney Council Gadigal Information Service. Koori Radio. Department of Defence Department of Veterans Affairs FAHCSIA – Indigenous Coordination Centre Sydney Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans & Services Association. Mark Spinks: Emcee. Chairperson. Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group. Jeremy Heathcote: Event Coordinator – Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group. David Pross: Volunteer Coordinator – Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group. Reg Lynch. Artist Sarah Hyland, Owen Walsh, Aaron Lowth Dr Reuben Bolt, Nakia Bolt and Band Australian War Museum Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit - UNSW Australian School of Business (UNSW) Eugene Kwek and the ASB Young Alumni (UNSW) Volunteers Shane Phillips and the Tribal Warrior Volunteers Fairfax – Indigenous Jobs Australia Antony Symons. Artist.
Next Edition Our next edition will be out at the end of May, if you have any suggestions on articles or are interested in being a part of our Menâ€™s Group please contact us at Babana@babana.org.au or come visit us at 72 Renwick Street, Redfern.