In this country, colonisation has resulted in inequity, racism and the disruption of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. In fact, it has been the most detrimental of the determinants of health that continues to significantly influence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes today
Like many countries before it, Australia is now finally entering a phase where some State governments are entering into treaty negotiations with relevant First Nations peoples
It is noteworthy that to date, all First Nations peoples have demanded that there be a truth telling process established as stage one of any treaty negotiations, as has happened around the world
For many non-Indigenous colleagues in philanthropy, this journey has started with a number of important questions;
What personal reflection do I need to do as a non-Indigenous person living in Australia?
What is the history and experiences of the Traditional Owners where I live and work?
How can I (re)educate myself about what really happened to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
How honest am I with myself and others about my motivations, biases and misconceptions?
What does it feel like and what might it mean to connect to and understand my own sense of complicity?
What am I prepared to give to work in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
What action could I take, supported by like-minded people working within philanthropy?
Barmal Bijiril has chosen to navigate this process, walking hand in hand with our non-Indigenous philanthropic colleagues, and in partnership with the newly established Victorian Yoo-Rook Justice Commission
We will be jointly presenting an information sharing Truth Telling Seminar in May 2022
Later in 2022 Barmal Bijiril will also be convening a two- day Truth-telling Forum, which will be open to Board members of philanthropic foundations, and selected First Nations mentors who will work closely with all participants. The Yoo-rook Justice Commission will also be invited to attend.
“We cannot heal this country until we firstly heal ourselves” - Rosalie Kunoth Monks OAM
Barmal Bijirl would like to pay respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which we work. We pay respect to elders past present and emerging and recognise that sovereignty has never been ceded