Tears of injustice and calls for treaty at NAIDOC Week
THE Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian flags were hoisted in unison yesterday to mark the opening of NAIDOC Week in Warwick.
Vicky Gow became emotional as she spoke about the struggle indigenous people continue to face, referencing this year's theme of voice, treaty and truth.
"Brokenness was never ours,” she said.
"It was put on us, so we give it back.”
Ms Gow said Australia was growing stronger as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people pushed forward into public consciousness, advocating for recognition and justice.
"Through high rates of incarceration, suicide and addiction we carry the truth,” she said.
"Our tears will wash away the sorrow of injustice.”
The theme's treaty referred to the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart in which more than 250 indigenous elders met to call for the establishment of a "First Nations voice” in the Australian constitution and a Makarrata Commission to facilitate communication between governments and indigenous communities.
"Without that treaty we stay oppressed and enslaved to the past,” Ms Gow said.
Queensland Police Service Acting Inspector Jamie Deacon said Australians needed to own their history in order to bring genuine healing to both sides.
"Lasting and effective agreements can't be possible without shared understanding,” he said.