Acknowledgement Of Country, Wurundjeri People

My newborn mother arrived by boat from Scotland in 1951. My father arrived on an aeroplane from Malta sixteen years later. I am the first generation of my family to be born in Australia yet I have come to love this country deeply.

Time is hard to understand until we break it down.

The oldest white settlers came to Australia in 1788. If I was a descendant of theirs I would be an 8th generation Australian.

The first Aboriginal men and women who touched this land with love, humility and tenderness arrived over 40,000 years ago.

If I was a descendant of theirs I would be a 1,568th generation Australian.

Time is hard to understand until we break it down.

As new arrivals to your home, we pay our deepest respects.

We pay them to not only the elders both past and present…

But to the resilient women who fight the hardest with the littlest reward. Who keep their families together and their children safe.

And we pay them to the youth who time and again fall through the cracks of a failing system which continues to let them down.

Lastly, we pay them to the ongoing fight for recognition, equality and justice.

Now, let us work together against this ill-fitting government, to re-design this system the way it should be.

Here, you are welcome.

And thank you for welcoming us.

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