Curtin Student Guild News

Indigenous Department: National Sorry Day Statement

Posted By Keira Salord on 26/05/2017

Curtin Student Guild Indigenous Representative - National Sorry Day Statement

"My name is Sarah Belottie. I am a Yamaji, Nhanda and Malgana woman from Shark bay and Geraldton in the Midwest region of WA. This year I have been given the honour to represent Indigenous Students at Curtin University as Indigenous Officer at the Curtin Student Guild. I am very proud of the efforts Curtin University has made to celebrate and commemorate Indigenous culture.

Today, on National Sorry Day, we come together in the spirit of reconciliation to recognise the hardships faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to look toward the future to continue eliminating the barriers currently faced by our own communities. Today is also a day of healing. A day all Australians have the opportunity to reflect on the atrocities of the past and look towards the future with hope and pride.
As the Indigenous people of Australia, we have lived through extraordinary circumstances to be able to stand together and stand up for a brighter future for our people. It is this steadfast courage through our journey of survival and determination that inspires me to fight for my people and our rights today. My Ancestors and Elders have endured the immense pressures of colonisation, so that I may be able stand here today with my fellow Australians in the spirit of reconciliation. Our choices and actions today will not only shape the future for my people but for all generations of Australians to come.

This week a congregation of approximately 300 Indigenous delegates are meeting in Uluru, as part of the First Nations people’s conference to discuss constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This step is only the latest milestone in a long history of Indigenous politics surrounding recognition and reconciliation. As a young Indigenous woman I am excited for the outcomes of this meeting, as this will provide a new rubric for the formal recognition of my people. A step forward in the right direction in my eyes and a revolutionary move for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Formally recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the First Nations people of this country, eliminating racial discrimination in such pivotal legal documents such as the constitution, and ensuring our people will never be subjected to legal discrimination will be a massive step in our journey to reconciliation.

Today, on National Sorry day, I look to the past for motivation, to the present for inspiration and to the future for a nation of reconciled citizens who are proud to celebrate and share their culture together.

I am proud to stand with my people as we walk together on our journey of reconciliation and although it may not be a short one it is a walk that is well worth the time. Thank you."

Guild Indigenous Department:
Location: Guild Equity Space (Building 106F)
Phone: (08) 9266 3150 or Guild Reception on (08) 9266 2900
Email: indigenous@guild.curtin.edu.au
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