June 2024

Conversation Starter Series #2

Join us and learn about the readiness for the conversations that are required for collaboration in today’s context.

by Mark Yettica-Paulson (Birrah, Gamilaroi and Bundjalung Peoples)

We have put out the challenge to activate the weeks between National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week every year. This year we are using weekly conversation starters to sustain attention and interest.

This week we will be hosting a webinar conversation space based on two key principles:

  1. Everyone has an authentic starting point – no matter where you are starting from or what experience you have, your starting point is legitimate and authentic. It will resonate with many others who have a similar starting point to you
  2. Symbolic and Substance work are both needed and are connected – some of our work is outwardly visible (symbolic) and some of it is not (substance). Action to create readiness and conditions for internal conversations is a genuine contribution as well as providing symbolic recognition and acknowledgement.

Moving from Early Signs to Consistent Steps

  • For some of us “taking our next steps” will mean creating more readiness and conditions in our contexts. In this case we are looking for ways to move from early signs to more consistent efforts in the relationships between First Nations and others. This is for the contexts where there are sparks and flickering flames that need fanning. It is for the context where the early pieces of work need to be nurtured, encouraged, and supported to become stronger and more embedded in ‘business as usual’ rhythms.  

Consistent Steps to Changing Systems – what are the rhythms you are working with?

  • For some of us “taking our next steps” will mean moving from consistent support and engagement to changing systems. In this case we are looking for ways to increase the urgency for action beyond the regular and acceptable to pushing boundaries and challenging conventions. This is for the contexts where there has been consistent and strong support that is now embedded. This conversation is about moving beyond those boundaries to explore more deeply changes in power relationships, flows of resources, and the transformation of systems. 

Questions you can discuss:

  1. What early signs can we nurture and support to become more consistent and accepted as our business-as-usual?
  2. Using the Symbol and Substance Quadrants, what can we identify as our next steps?

Steps you can take: 

Mark’s 2 minute guide to understanding Symbolism, Substance & Showing Solidarity in Australia. – Super Native Unlimited

Home – Reconciliation Australia

Coming to terms with the past? Identifying barriers and enablers to truth-telling – Reconciliation Australia

The Healing Foundation | Supporting the healing of Stolen Generations survivors, families and communities

Timeline of Trauma and Healing in Australia | The Healing Foundation

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