Wednesday, April 30, 2008

GetTogether for reconciliation

Last night Jessica and I hosted a GetUp GetTogether for reconciliation in our flat. Thirteen people from the local community (only two of whom we'd met before) came along to hear each other's experiences and think about reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia, especially as it relates to our local area. This gathering was one of around 350 across the country (see image for locations) organised by GetUp under the theme "From little things, big things grow".*

Quite apart from the content of the discussion (which was surprisingly high quality, given that most of us didn't know each other), I found the evening a fascinating exercise in community building. Again, I was struck by how hospitality is a key part of planting trust. I think it is rare for Sydneysiders (not sure whether this is true of urban Westerners more generally) to have strangers into their home. Sharing our spaces is part of sharing our lives.

Speaking of which, one of the Indigenous Australians who came along invited us all to a follow up event to be held at his local art gallery.

New single released
*From little things, big things grow is also the title of a new single released last week by GetUp in partnership with Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins and many more (and featuring Kevin Rudd). It debuted last week at #4 and you can spend $1.69 to buy it and help it get to #1. You might be able to guess that the idea was partially inspired by "Yes we can". All the lyrics come from Kevin Rudd's apology to the Stolen Generations and responses made on the day by Indigenous Australians (plus a little at the end from Paul Keating's famous 1992 Redfern speech).
Before someone tries to score points for saying there are only twelve people in the photo, one member of the group had to leave early.


Anthony Douglas said...

Extra cash? Now that's (bank) reconciliation-related...

I was assuming that the shyest one was holding the camera. I'm more concerned about how you include you and Jess in the count of 'people who came' - weren't you there already? ;-)

byron smith said...

(Anthony's first comment was about a (repeated) piece of spam I removed).

weren't you there already?
Depends what you mean by 'already'. We both only arrived a little before everyone else. So we turned up to the meeting as well!

Joanna said...

hi Byron,
I went along to one as well and it was great! Am just about to blog about it myself. I was really impressed with the diverse and grassroots nature of the whole thing. A great way for local Christians to connect with others over important issues, too.

Anonymous said...

hi byron,

thanks for your email the other day. i've tried to reply but for some reason my emails aren't getting through. i'll try again later.

Benjamin Ady said...

I'm so envious of you getting to be part of that.