Rhaedel Pickett is a Noongar Yorga young woman from the Noongar country, Western Australia. As last week was National Reconciliation Week, we asked Rhaedel to share her thoughts about reconciliation with us.
The significance of Reconciliation is beyond imaginable.
The restoration of friendly relations and the action of making all beliefs compatible with others across Australia could be achievable. The importance of Reconciliation to me is about bringing peace, companionship and equality to all Australia and our people. With all honesty, the Reconciliation process is still making its way throughout Australia. This year, the theme of National Reconciliation Week is ‘Our History, Our Story, Our Future’.
The National Reconciliation Week website reads: “As Australians, we are all here, woven into this country. As part of our reconciliation journey, there are truths to tell, stories to celebrate and relationships to grow”.
To me; ‘Our History’ is us, our families, our mob, our creators, our heritage and our ancestors. Our people know what its like to suffer excessive tragedy from the stolen generations to land rights and ownership of the land.
‘Our stories’ are the experiences and things that we go through that truly define who we are. Our story is our identity, it is based on the dirt that our ancestors danced on and the warmth of the fire that our elders told Dreamtime stories around. Their words dance around us, through all the colours of the wind and all the whistling birds that watch over us during the day. It is then raised to guide us through our lives and to purely find our way through life’s path. Our culture is also what defines us. And our people, together as one.
Our future is still yet to come, it may be tomorrow or the day after that but our future depends on us. Our own future, future generations of Indigenous families and the generations of all Australia weigh on the issues we do right and the ones we may do wrong. However, being the nation we are; anything is possible. Together possibilities grow, we grow and our future grows. Reconciling brings us together, we understand the meanings of each other, we discover each others history, story and possibly their future. By becoming part of reconciliation we reflect on the past, make it a part of us and we make sure not to repeat anything. So that all our people allow each other to have an understanding future, one of recognition and diversity but equality.
“Reconciliation is about unity and respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-indigenous people”.
It is about keeping respect for our people, land and valuing justice and equity for all Australians. As Reconciliation Week has come upon us, I encourage all Australians from all walks of life to find an edge to racism, discrimination, prejudice, stereotypical thoughts and behaviours and truly engage with everyone. As we take paths of success towards Reconciliation, we unite, become one and stand together.
But remember, “if [we] cant fly then we run. If [we] cant run then we walk. If [we] cant walk then we crawl but whatever we do we have to keep moving forward”. Because then we have shaped and moulded Australia into a peaceful reconciled community that is free and connected to all, including the land and its people.
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