Monday, July 4, 2011

Wiradjuri activist Kerry Reed-Gilbert on NAIDOC Week

Kerry Reed-Gilbert is a Wiradjuri woman. She's an activist, cross-cultural trainer and poet. Her books include Black Woman, Black Life and Talkin' About Country. And she's my deadly sista. Today, she offers some thoughts on NAIDOC Week...

Kerry on NAIDOC:

Happy NAIDOC Week to one and all. NAIDOC week is the week of the year that we as Aboriginal people of Australia together with the Torres Strait Islander peoples celebrate the survival of the oldest living culture in the world. It is an opportunity for all of us as a people to come together and acknowledge who we are and where we come. It is a time when we can celebrate our people, our culture, our history and heritage. It is a time when we are able to proudly stand up and showcase who we are.

But it is also a time that we invite the wider Australian community to recognise and share the survival of the oldest living culture in the world, because that is what Aboriginal culture is, that is who we are. That is the true story of this land that we all call home. That is the knowing.

No matter what I do or who my audiences are I always stand up in front of people and tell them how proud I am at being able to say that ‘I come from the original owners, the traditional custodians of this land.’

I invite all peoples who call this land home to be proud to say ‘I live in the land of the oldest surviving culture in the world.’ I invite you all to come along and share our journey and join us in taking care of Country. I invite you all to walk this journey with us proudly and with dignity and recognise and celebrate this land we all call home.

Recognise and share the survival of the oldest living culture in the world, Aboriginal Culture.

As always yours in unity and sovereignty

Kerry Reed-Gilbert
Wiradjuri Nation
Aboriginal Australia

PS: You know it doesn’t just have to begin and end in NAIDOC week, the celebration, the journey, the knowing, it can be 24/7 every day of the year.


Christine Cole said...

Kerry, what you wrote is just so good. Your generous and welcoming invitation for the wider community to join us on ths journey of taking care of Country. This post has opened another prospect of connecting with the wider community to join together to address the issues and problems in this country, of, not only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, but also the issues and problems in the wider community.

Beth Tayler said...

Hey Kerry - happy NAIDOC Week from London! Admiring your work from afar. Lots of love xo