APM teams mark National Reconciliation Week

Published on 06 Jun 2019

APM teams across Australia took part in community events to mark National Reconciliation Week.

In Western Australia, APM Northam hosted a traditional smoking ceremony and invited members of the community to join them for a conversation on what ‘reconciliation’ means.

Local Indigenous elder Kathy Davis joined the event to promote understanding and social cohesion.

"Coming together, talking, sitting next to each other, learning and sharing of stories, that's how we move forwards together, stronger in unity," Ms Davis told the Avon Valley Advocate.

"It is the next generation that we see sitting together side by side, with complete acceptance, they are mates because they like each other, that's all.

"That's what we want to see in the future. More of that".

Elders Frank Davis and Deb Moody, who performed Welcome to Country in Nyoongar language, also joined the event.

"The smoking releases the spirits, and we can see them go, it lets in a new beginning" said Mr Davis, who shared a music session and the therapeutic properties of the didgeridoo.

"It's not about the ceremonies or the didgeridoo - it's about this, the afterwards, coming together, having time, eating, talking, sharing."

In Queensland, APM Kingaroy hosted a morning tea to for the community to inspire chat about the importance of reconciliation in our nation's history and in the workplace.

Cherbourg resident and chairman of the Wakka Wakka Native Title Corporation, Elgan ‘Buddy’ Leedie was invited to performed the Welcome to Country.

“To me it was an honour,” he told the South Burnett Times.

Mr Leedie, 57 said for him, Reconciliation Week means ‘coming together.’

A former soldier in the army, he served for his country side-by-side with hundreds of non-indigenous soldiers.

“I am ex 2/4th battalion. I have got a lot of white brothers.

“I actually made that statement during the Anzac Day Dawn Service here in Kingaroy this year.”

At the APM reconciliation event, Mr Leedie impressed the crowd with his traditional indigenous musical instruments.

He played the didgeridoo, swung the bull roarer and kept in time with his traditional tapping sticks.

“As a chairman of this nation, I want to extend my welcome to each and every one of you,” he said.

“Part of our reconciliation is coming together and standing together as one.”

In other events, APM’s Gustavia Lui and Barby Wilson, attended a community reconciliation event at the Logan Brothers Football Club, in Queensland.

They listened to stories, and enjoyed watching the traditional dance performances, as well as experience some bush tucker.

The APM Barwon team in New South Wales held a traditional art class and smoking ceremony, creating pieces of artwork to place in the local branch.

In South Australia, members from APM Gawler joined a community event to take part in Reconciliation Week, and invited children to leave their messages of reconciliation on a tree painting.