Saturday, 10 December 2011

GOFRG members & friends at the grave of Willem Baa Ni Ip

Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group members & friends met by the grave of Willem Baa Ni Ip (King Billy) at Western Cemetery in early December.

Ron Milligan talked movingly about what he has found out about the life and final years of Willem Baa Ni Ip (born 1836 – died 1885) and other Barrabool Tribe members, including the impact of settlement / squatters on their lives.

More information about Willem Baa Ni Ip will be available on a website which we plan to launch at Reconciliation Week in May 2012, with information and resources provided by Uncle David Tournier at the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op plus GOFRG member Ron Milligan and other people.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group meetings 2012

All meetings in 2012 will be held at 7.30pm (except 27th May 2012). Watch this space for updates. 

  • 21st Feb - Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op (meeting)
  • 20th March - Geelong Trades Hall (movie)
  • 17th April
  • 15th May
  • 27th May - Reconciliation in the Park event
  • 19th June
  • 17th July
  • 21st August
  • 18th September
  • 16th October
  • 20th November

Monday, 14 November 2011

ANTaR Victoria - Join our conversation towards a Referendum in 2012The Government has announced plans for a Referendum in 2013, to give our First Peoples recognition and equality in the Constitution.
ANTaR Victoria is launching a campaign to bring people together for a conversation to move Australia forward. If you want to get involved in this campaign, email us c/o our website:
You can also email Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group at to join local activities to support this plan.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Reconciliation Victoria - link to their latest newsletter here

RecVic's latest newsletter is downloadable from their website at It includes a great roundup on what Geelong OneFire are doing at present. 

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Long Walk Women’s Luncheon 2011

Event: 14 October,
Where: Peninsula, Central Pier, 161 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands

All invited to join Michael Long in celebrating Indigenous women’s achievements over lunch, with great entertainment and conversation at the sixth annual Women’s Luncheon. Cost involved.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Join us for Babakiueria - Geelong Trades Hall

An Invitation to the next Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group event
  • 7.30pm on Tuesday 15th November at Geelong Trades Hall (downstairs, accessible room)
  • Snacks and a movie - gold coin donation.
"Babakiueria (pronounced Barbecue area!)is a short and effective drama that features the role reversal in which Aboriginal Australians change places with the historically dominant white Australians."

GOFRG will also be holding our AGM for 30 minutes before the movie. 
Everyone is welcome, if you'd like to join us.

Less than a week to go

Here's the lastest news from YouMeUnity... remember to let your friends and colleagues know....

Hi Friends, 
We're in the final week – have you had your say?
Our countdown is coming to an end and there is now only one week to go to have your say on the Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples.  Submissions close at 5PM on September 30th 2011.
So far we’ve had a great response with submissions totalling more than 2,500 and fans on Facebook getting close to the 6,000 mark.
We’d like to give ALL Australians the chance to voice their opinions, so if you’ve already made a submission please continue sharing the message with your friends via Facebook, Twitter and email. This is an opportunity for ALL Australians to have their say on Constitutional recognition, so let’s make the most of it.
You Me Unity 

The 1000 Warrior March

On Saturday the 5th of November, Aboriginal and Islander men will March to Reclaim, Respect & Protect.

The purpose of this email is to provide full details of the March and its intended purpose.

The purpose of the 1000 Warrior March is to:

*       To Show solidarity amongst Aboriginal and Islander Men

*       To reinforce our place in family and community.

*       To reinforce our culture as a way forward.

*       To show we are role models for our families and our young.

*       To make a stand for healing our country.

*       To commit to the rights of Aboriginal people.

*       To pledge to honour the 1000 warrior values.

Aboriginal and Islander men will be participating in the March and they will March through Melbourne in harmony to Reclaim, Respect and Protect.  The men will then meet their families, friends and loved ones at Birrarung Marr (back of Federation Square) to celebrate.

Details of the 1000 Warrior March

DATE:             Saturday 5th of November 2011

TIME:               The March will begin at 10:00am

ADDRESS:      The Fig Tree, top of Gertrude Street corner of Gertrude and Nicholson Streets Fitzroy)

For more information  on the 1000 Warrior March please contact:

Alan Brown - 0413 045 536

Richard Frankland - 0408 486 603

Phil Cooper - 0417 112 422

We look forward to seeing all Aboriginal and Islander men on Saturday the 5th of November.

Sunday, 11 September 2011


At a recent community sector meeting Gary Highland, executive officer of the Panel, indicated the Panel has established principles for considering constitutional changes:
·         Lead to a more unified, effective nation
·         Supported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
·         Possible to gain overwhelming support (means bipartisan political support as well as community support)
·         Technically and legally strong

He also commented that the idea of Aboriginal representation in parliament has been added to the Panel’s considerations

After receipt of submissions (end-September)
the timetable is
·         Oct-mid Nov:  Roundtables, largely with Aboriginal people (since difficult to get opinion through surveys). Some NGOs
·         By end Oct:  analyse submissions, consultations
·         By end Nov:  complete opinion polling
·         Dec:  Report to Govt

Only 22 Days Left to Have Your Say

This blog post is adapted from the You Me Unity email news

3004 people have had their say to date on Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Results in to date from their surveys are as follows:
  • Does the Constitution adequately reflect who we are as a nation today? 9% voted 'Yes' while 91% voted 'No' – Add your vote
  • Should a guarantee of non-discrimination and racial equality for all Australians be inserted in the Constitution? 94% voted 'Yes' and 6% 'No' – Add your vote
  • Should recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples be accompanied by a statement of values? 79% voted 'Yes' and 21% 'No – Add your vote
You can help spread the word by clicking on the buttons below, and if you haven't made a submission yet please have your say.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Only 30 days left: Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group (GOFRG) Inc. takes up a once in a lifetime opportunity

You Me Unity is the national conversation about updating our constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture for the benefit of all Australians. There are only 30 days left for people in Geelong to join in. Today GORFG joined in by making an online submission to You Me Unity about the changes it would like to see to the constitution.

Everyone in Geelong can have a say in this once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s simple. With just a click of the button people in Geelong can have a say.

Visit the You Me Unity website ( to learn more. Fill in a single question survey, write an essay or just a few words. There are lots of options. We’d like to encourage people to read GOFRG’s submission to help them think about what they’d like to say. You can also read submissions from across the country at the You Me Unity website.

Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can right past wrongs and challenge the harmful effects of racism in the present. Research shows that racism is a threat to public health in Australia, especially for Indigenous Australians where its effects have reached crisis proportions. Health problems from the lack of respect and recognition that underpins racism include high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and anxiety (refer:

Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our constitution can be a point of pride for all Australians. We are out of step with many other countries (New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Finland, South Africa, Bolivia, Eucudor, Mexico and the USA) by not doing so.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The countdown has begun - a once in a lifetime chance for you to have your say

With just the press of a button you can have your say about updating the Australian constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture for the benefit of all Australians. You only have to 30th September 2011 to have your say.

Members of Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group met last night to plan their submission. Individual members of the group have also had their say by taking the You Me Unity one question surveys.
It's easy with a click of a button to take a survey. To learn about the issues and help you decide what you think you can downlooad helpful and easy to information packs or a DIY kit if you want to organise a discussion with others. 

We're encouraging everyone living and working in the City of Greater Geelong to have their say too. Link here to the You Me Unity website to have your say or view the submissions others have made.  

See the latest Survey results - to date 95% who have taken the survey believe Section 25 be deleted from the Australian Constitution to remove the suggestion that an Australian voter could be excluded from voting on the basis of race.

Don't miss out - have your say now.

Friday, 12 August 2011

YOU ME UNITY: Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

June 2011 - September 2011 ...

A new conversation starts now ... how we can recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution.

Over the next 6 months, 20 members of the panel appointed by the Prime Minister will be travelling across the country to listen to Australians, as currently not all Australians are equal under our constitution.

It is time to move to constitutional recognition, to embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as full and equal citizens, responding to general recognition that this is something we must do.

75% of people support plans for some form of constitutional change.

A proposed change could be placed before a referendum. Current proposals include:
  • A statement of recognition - acknowledging Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people’s unique culture & an important part of Australian society
  • A statement of values – recognising Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people’s and fundamental Australian values such as citizens personal freedom……racial and gender equality and our commitment to a democratic government
  • Repealing or amending the ‘race power’ in the constitution – creating a new guarantee of non discrimination and racial equality
  • Make laws to protect Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage and redress historical disadvantage.
The panel wants to hear what people think plus any other ideas. No decision has been made yet, and you are encouraged to take part and submit your views and ideas for Constitutional change.

The Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group is interested in being part of a local group making a submission to these plans. Would you like to do this with us?

You can find out more information at:

Sunday, 31 July 2011

GOFRG wins Wathuarong Aboriginal Co-op NAIDOC Award!

In July GOFRG was delighted to receive a NAIDOC Award from Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative. The beautiful plate, made by Wathuarong Glass (see below) will be on display during the year at Clonard College & Western Heights School schools, the Wathaurong Co-op, plus the Geelong Library  - all participants in the 2011 event.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Welcome to the One Fire Blog

Hi to the One Fire team
Vicky and I have great pleasure in introducing you to our new One Fire blog. You can sign up to be updated on Blog postings via email and we'd love to hear from you about what you'd like to see on our Blog.

We'll be updating the Blog regularly and using it to share 'What's happening' with the group and beyond.


Reconciliation Day in the Park: Media Coverage 2011

Here's a taster of the media coverage generated by the 2011 Reconciliation Day in Johnstone Park, Geelong.