Well last week was NAIDOC week with a theme of working to heal the land or country. On the Sunshine Coast Kerry Jones Kabi Kabi traditional owner opened the celebrations in Nambour at the Council chambers. “ Heal Country” called for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
Kabi Kabi’s Linden Davis also indicated that we all have a role as custodians to heal the land and I see the work of traditional owners and conservation groups working to protect the natural environment particularly pertinent to this healing. The works to rehabilitate plant and animal communities like that protecting the water mouse and mangroves at Bli Bli on the Maroochy River or protecting pandanus on the coastal dunes to heal country are examples.
I find the resolve and determination of many of our traditional owners inspirational and they have so much to teach us about this country. The humility, calm, resilience and respect of our Kabi Kabi elders provides the type of leadership we need in Australia.
Like many of you on Saturday night I was up late to see Ash Barty inspire us with her ability on the tennis court as the world number one women’s tennis player won the Wimbledon Tennis Final. Ash is a great role model and humility is one of those things the really great leaders possess. As Ash says she aims to be a good human being kind everyday and this certainly comes through in her attitude to life.
Her mentor and indigenous trailblazer Evonne Goolagong Cawley describes Ash’s humility and hard work. Ash made special mention of the way that Evonne had inspired her to reach the pinnacle of world tennis when receiving the trophy.
Yes humility, calm, resilience and respect really does work and all Australians would be proud of the efforts of indigenous and non-indigenous Australians who can inspire us in endeavours to make it a better world.
Measures that recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage need to be our focus as today’s custodians.


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