27 May 2017 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

27 May 2017
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place.


In this week’s Top 10 we celebrate National Reconciliation Week and with a look at some Indigenous stories and news.


1. National Reconciliation Week commenced this week with the theme ‘Let’s Take the Next Steps’. You can check out the featured events in your capital city here.


2. Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the handing down of the Bring Them Home report detailing the forced removal of Indigenous children and the trauma associated with these acts. This year National Sorry Day focused on the need to “improve the correctional system and acknowledge the mistreatment of Indigenous Australians” with a large march in Canberra.


3. As we reported last week, Indigenous elders have gathered in Uluru for the first National Constitutional Convention. The Uluru Statement calls for “the establishment of a First Nations’ voice enshrined in the constitution”. It’s a beautiful read if you have a spare minute or two.


4. And interestingly, many people may not know that the dates for National Reconciliation Week were chosen because this particular week marks some very important historical dates in Australia’s history including National Sorry Day which was first commemorated on 26 May 1998; the 27 May 1967 referendum which saw more than 90% of Australians vote in favour of including Indigenous people in the census; and 3 June 1992 which marks the historic Mabo decision.


5. There is a serious lack of understanding about Indigenous history in Australian schools. So if you need some updating here are 5 things about Indigenous history you probably didn’t learn at school, from Amnesty International!


6. Margaret Smith and Rene Kulitja, two Indigenous women from Central Australia, have written a children’s book, Tjulpu and Walpa, that they hope will reduce the incidence of trauma and abuse in children. “The story follows the lives of two different girls growing up. Tjulpu (bird that sings) is raised in a loving and supportive family and leads a happy life, whereas Walpa (the wind) experiences domestic violence and is moved from family to family.” The book is being launched as part of the NT Writer’s Festival in Alice Springs.


7. Dr Ken Thaiday has won the Red Ochre Award recognising his lifetime contribution to Indigenous art. And he’s spending his $50,000 prize on a fishing trip wiht his family – sounds just fine to me!


8. And while we’re on the subject of Indigenous arts, The Guardian explores the issue of ethical art and the ways in which Indigenous artists are often underpaid and exploited. But the good news is that there is a new online gallery, Bluethumb, connecting artists and buyers in an open and transparent way.


9. The Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles are on again at the famous Bells Beach in Victoria and they are keen to dispel the myth that Indigenous people do not surf!


10. About 20 Indigenous kids from Port Augusta are about to have one of the most exciting nights of their lives. They’re in Melbourne to be part of the ‘Dreamtime at the ‘G‘ football game and their excitement is infectious! The trip is funded by business person Andy Mullins and Indigenous musician Rusty Smith who hope “to generate aspirations and dreams outside their Davenport community. For most, it will be their first time on a bus, a plane or in a big city, and the Dreamtime match is just one part of the experience. They will participate in The Long Walk from Federation Square, and finish with a lap on the ground of the MCG”.


Thanks for coming along this week and don’t forget to check out your local Reconciliation Week activities and be part of the movement for change! See you next week.