Voice of President of the Yallburru Group Patricia Leavy
Alongside the Queensland Yugambeh Elders Advisory Group and Indigenous Working Group, the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 Organising Committee (GOLDOC) declared this year’s NAIDOC week theme as ‘Our Languages Matter’.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games announced a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) aims to deliver a host of ‘legacy outcomes’, by providing training and employment opportunities, as well as placing an emphasis on the culture and diversity of Indigenous Australians.
‘Our Languages Matter’ reflects and celebrates the profound significance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s languages integrated in our modern society.
The GC2018 willingness to significantly embrace reconciliation has inspired many community groups to rally together during NAIDOC Week on the Gold Coast.
NAIDOC week, July 2 until July 9, in Australia is celebrating the history, culture and achievements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The GC2018 RAP to set a precedent for the integration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and people in future mainstream events.
Griffith University Gold Coast, major sponsor of the Games, played host to a day of celebration on Wednesday 5 July and invited the Yallburru (Gold Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Community Consultation) group along to revere the week.
President of the Yallburru group, Patricia Leavy, was at the Griffith University NAIDOC Day and says although the Commonwealth Games is taking notice of her Aboriginal heritage, Australian society still has a long way to go.
“The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games are attempting to make this a reality but I really don’t think we are there, although the language integration is a huge step,” Leavy states.
“In my opinion we are very far away from a Reconciled Australia, it takes time which we need to achieve together and not individually,” Leavy says.