Two Fires forum

ARTS: Students at a 2015 Two Fires Festival event. Photo: file.

ARTS: Students at a 2015 Two Fires Festival event. Photo: file.

Youth a voice for Indigenous recognition

In her research into the Australian constitution and the Uluru Statement, Haddie Davies has discovered things that surprised her.

With the Braidwood Central School Senior Debating Team, Ms Davies in Year 11, will be exploring the topic ‘Evolution or Revolution: How to achieve recognition and representation of Indigenous Australians’ at an upcoming Two Fires Event.

“We’ve all found it really interesting to look into what the whole history has been, and especially what actually makes up the constitution,” Ms Davies said.

The team will take two sides, looking at two possible approaches to Indigenous recognition, one a more modest government led approach, the other involving more radical change.

Ms Davies encouraged the community to support the event, saying she felt it was a good chance to think  more deeply about long held views.

“Lots of us, we live our lives and we don’t often get much chance to sort of have our opinions challenged or really see an idea discussed or debated,” Ms Davies said. “I think it’s really good for people to come to this, and to take some time to really think about the issue.”

Ms Davies also wished to acknowledge that as none of the team are Indigenous, they had to be careful to be respectful and avoid assumptions about what Indigenous people want.

The Two Fires Festival which sought to honour Judith Wright’s legacy of arts and activism, was cancelled this year. However, volunteers are running small events such as the upcoming forum throughout the year.

‘Voices for Indigenous Recognition’ will showcase the public speaking and critical thinking skills of Braidwood’s students. In addition to the debate, two Year Six students from BCS will deliver a speech prepared for NAIDOC Week on the importance of Indigenous Australian languages, which students from St Bede’s will follow with a performance of Judith Wright’s poetry.

  • Voices for Indigenous Recognition will be held in the National Theatre at 2pm on Sunday September 17, afternoon tea will be provided with a gold coin donation at the door.