22nd - 28th October 2017
Are you interested in undertaking an immersion with Aboriginal people of north-west NSW to develop first hand an understanding of traditional culture, spirituality and the quest for justice?
This program will appeal to educational leaders who are interested in supporting the educational achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and furthering Reconciliation in Australia. It also provides an opportunity for EREA staff to reflect upon the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy. The Let’s Talk program was developed in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and London in 1997 amidst the climate of the Irish Peace Process. Let’s Talk events have centered upon issues of peace and conflict, identity, human rights, socio-economic issues and Australian Aboriginal principles of reconciliation.
Through the journey, elements of these issues will arise through dialogue with locals and elders when visiting communities and places of significance to the Aboriginal people of north-west NSW. The Let’s Talk facilitators will ensure all participants are guided and supported through what has proven to be an inspirational journey, an experience you will never forget. This immersion is a three way partnership between the Edmund Rice Centre, Edmund Rice Education Australia and the Indigenous communities of North-West NSW.
This program involves journeying with others to learn about the Myall Creek Massacre near Bingara and the Freedom Rides in Moree, spending time in the remote community of Goodooga at the school and youth centre, and hearing the stories of celebration and ritual beside the river in Brewarrina.
I attended the ‘Let’s Talk’ Indigenous Immersion with open eyes, heart and mind and it was one of the best experiences I’ve been given the opportunity to participate in. I quickly learnt the immersion was not a ‘tour’ but a ‘journey’ and this stayed with me from the beginning to now and will into the future. I found Cassie to be a wonderful and knowledgeable person who gave much of herself, both emotionally and culturally, throughout the journey. The people she introduced us to and the wealth of knowledge and experiences these people shared was diverse, interesting, challenging, unique, respectful and honest. Throughout my journey and participating in ‘smoking ceremonies’, visiting historical sites, monuments and places of significance, listening to ‘Uncles’ and ‘Aunties’ about past and present issues, greatly deepened my respect and understanding of Indigenous people and Indigenous Australia.
The memories, culture, people and stories I experienced and shared on my journey will forever remain close to my heart. Thank you Cassie – you’re a gem. Paul Dorian, St Paul’s Gillies Plains, Let’s Talk EREA 2016
Cassandra Gibbs, the leader of Let’s Talk, facilitates a powerful immersion into the challenges faced by Aboriginal communities in Northern NSW since 1788, as well as cultural experiences and opportunities to dialogue with many community partners. It is due to the relationships she builds in the local communities that the participants are welcomed into dialogue by elders and community leaders.