Monday, 27 April 2009

Our unsung Aboriginal diggers

Ray Minniecon
A sense of community was paramount during this commemoration of Australian servicemen and women: this was the Redfern mob in its country town guise. Weaving his way creatively through the Order of Service, Reverend Ray Minniecon exhorted the sea of faces to come together for each other: for past generations and for future generations.

Although no more than a kilometre, the distance from The Block to Redfern Park covered a milennium of longing: for respect, inclusion and friendship. As I worked my way among the throng, I was embraced continually and blessed with gently falling words, softly spoken. Being used to the harshness of the aboriginal street scene of a humdrum working morning or evening, my protective racist shell momentarily melted.
The Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir and her husband, Sir Nicholas Shehadie
Big-wigs mixed with the hoi-poloi, as the unique ceremonies of time, place and mob progressed in the most meandering of lines: smoking ceremony, christianity, Leonard Cohen, ecology and the most heart-felt of exhortations for the next generation from David Williams, ex-HMAS Vampire. The Governor - or Auntie Marie - was on home turf.

10 comments:

Lois said...

It's nice when people are brought together for a noble cause! The first shot is a beautiful portrait.

Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann said...

Really interesting shots. No idea this was on. Is that Nick Shehadie with Aunty Marie. Isn't it wonderful to live in a country where you can call the Governor Aunty Marie.

Julie said...

It was a fascinating ceremony and assemblage. Yep that is Nick Shehadie. I forgot to note that I have some extra info for a hovering cursor.

Marie Bashir is a total knock-out of a person. And yes, to live in a country where from a podium you welcome her as Auntie Marie brought tears to my eyes.

Per Stromsjo said...

Every country has some reconciliation with its history to strive for. What differs is how (or whether) we try.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Another nice grouping of photos with a strong story. I am finding your Anzac day photos heart warming and interesting.

Mo said...

It has taken Australia a long time to recognise its indigenous people

Julie said...

I will take "recognise" in its broadest sense, Mo. In a literal sense, we recognised them in 1967. However, in a social justice sense we still do not do enough to give them a sense of control over their own lives. But I guess this is the case with all fringe-livers, not just Aborigines.

Each day, I walk through the most debased area of Sydney. But there are as many pathetic white people in the gutters as there are black people in the gutters. The beggars are mixed. The drunks are mixed. The mentally impaired are mixed.

However, the people I met and mixed with on Saturday were from this same area. They were the same mixture of races. They were articulate. They were caring. They were involved. I think, maybe, that race has little to do with it. It is something to do with the resources we are born with that give us the ability to take chances when we see them. If this is the case, then some of us owe these people. There but for the grace of ... ... of ... ... someone ...

Jacob said...

I'm with Lois - that first shot is terrific. Well, they all are, but that's special...

What an interesting mix...lot of emotion and memories and hope!

MaCoBra said...

hi Julie, I couldn't locate which of your blogs is the real Daily one, I think it is this one. Thanks for your comments. The tulips is really funny. I saw it from the corner of my eye and realized it was a sticker. Looking forward to follow life in Australia! Cheers from Marcel