Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Members statements

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week

Ms GREEN (Yan Yean) (12:52): Last year Reconciliation Australia encouraged all Australians to take action, not just in National Reconciliation Week but every week of the year. I certainly try to do this and have now made it my practice whenever I speak in my electorate and in other parts of the state to highlight the fact that the Yan Yean electorate is one of the few in this Parliament that bears a traditional language name, meaning ‘young boy’. The geographic centre of my electorate is Mernda, which means ‘girl’.

The theme of this year’s National Reconciliation Week is ‘Be Brave. Make Change’ and is a challenge to all Australians—individuals, families, communities, organisations and government—to be brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation. Voters at the federal election were brave and elected a record number of First Nations people, including Linda Burney, the first Aboriginal woman to be the indigenous affairs minister, and other Labor members Marion Scrymgour, Dr Gordon Reid, Senators Patrick Dodson and Malarndirri McCarthy and our own Jana Stewart.

The Monday after the election I was privileged to attend a smoking ceremony to acknowledge the start of the Bridge Inn Road duplication, and I commend the minister for infrastructure for this great initiative. I also want to thank Alan Thorpe, the CEO of Dardi Munwurro, and their staff and elders, who run an amazingly successful program at Bunjil Place in Mernda, who with the Minister for Crime Prevention I had the privilege of meeting. I also want to acknowledge Natarsha Bamblett, who I had the privilege of hearing speak at the Australian Local Government Women’s Association conference yesterday. She is being brave and being the change, a wonderful First Nations Yorta Yorta woman who now lives in the Yan Yean electorate.