NAIDOC Week — Voice, treaty, truth

We were advised to read this excellent book, Dark Emu, by Bruce Pascoe.

Went to a NAIDOC event at the University of Sydney, with the theme: ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth.’

Keynote speaker Teela Reid, a proud Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman born and raised by a single mum in Gilgandra western NSW, told us of her journey from a PE teacher to lawyer and United Nations representative. Now she practices criminal, civil and administrative law and was involved as a Working Group leader on the Constitutional dialogue process that resulted in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The Statement calls for the voices of First Nations people to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution, and have a say in laws and policies.

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Stolen Generation plaque at Central Station

I helped write and edit this Stolen Generation plaque, prominently displayed at Central Station. Was a privilege to be asked to be involved and was grateful for the opportunity. (In particular, the second par: “Some of these children never made it home, living their lives disconnected from their families and not knowing their true heritage.”)
Was at the official unveiling six months ago, when many of the Stolen Generation were present, truth-telling stories of being dragged away from their siblings on Platform 1, crying and screaming.

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Bondi Badlands Historical Violence Walking Tour

Went to ACON’s Bondi Badlands Historical Violence Walking Tour today. Author/journalist Greg Callaghan filled us in on each victim’s life story and pointed out the general vicinity of where they had been murdered by juvenile homophobic gangs. It was organised by ACON project manager for safety, inclusion and historical justice, the lovely Michael Atkinson.

The walk, around the clifftop from Bondi Icebergs to Tamarama, started off sunny, but was soon totally freezing with biting wind and rain and we were huddled together with heads bowed like those penguins during winter in Antartica. Luckily, we found shelter at the public toilets in Marks Park — a popular beat where many post-Mardi Gras parties and celebrations had been held. It was also, unfortunately, the scene of many murderous homophobic crimes. But happily, it will also be where a memorial will be placed to remember those we lost.

I used to live in Bondi during 1991-1994, and the clifftop walk was a renowned danger spot at night, as there were no railings, no lighting, and gangs of drunk youths used to hang around there, do drugs and bash people.

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Fancy a game of Scrabble?

six people playing scrabble
And the Gold Logie goes to…

Six of us went round to David’s for a fun games night — Scrabble, the TV Week Trivia board game and Cards Against Humanity.

Was totally shocked at the unbridled cheating from some gameplayers, with pieces and cards being swapped when noone was looking.

TV Week board game

The TV Week Trivia board game was incredible — it had been sealed intact since 2005, so this was the first time it was opened. The drawback was that many of the questions were very dated, but we still managed to guess a Who Am I? (Kylie Minogue) and several Gold Logie winners from back in the day. A highlight was the six Logie-shaped playing pieces!

Are “ne” and “lum” even words? Apparently so, says Scrabble online dictionary.

Scrabble was ferociously contested, with constant requests to check which 2-letter words were acceptable. There were begging pleas to “open up the board” as some players strategically didn’t want to easily give away a triple word score. L made several heroic efforts to get rid of her letter “Q”.

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Sydney LGBTIQA Mardi Gras

It was the 40th Anniversary and so amazing. The numerous dance venues created a mini city and it was as buzzy and packed as the peak 1990s era.

Was privileged to be sitting next to a 78er, Peter McEwan from Melbourne, while waiting for Cher’s performance. He’d visited Sydney in 1978 for a national homosexual conference at Paddington Town Hall, and was involved in the protests. “The agenda back then used to include fighting in solidarity for everyone — access to abortion, refugees, women’s rights. I wish that solidarity was still around today. Other issues are important too.” He prefers the term “Queer” to “Gay”, as it’s more gender fluid.

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Eurovision slumber party!

eurovision2017

Went to a Eurovision slumber party with scavenger hunt and bingo at Louise’s place. Started on Saturday night, watching the second semi-final, while Louise cooked delicious Ukrainian dishes – borscht soup and Chicken Kiev – to honour this year’s host nation.

It was lucky for us ABBA fans that Ukraine’s flag has the same colours as Sweden, so there were plenty of blue and yellow streamers strung around!

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