2010 Activities

Viewing Cultural Sites at the You Yangs
David Tournier

In December 2010, members of the 'Geelong One Fire' (GOFRG) spent a special day with Uncle David Tournier (Picture right) and Glenn Shea, viewing and hearing about the cultural sites at the You Yangs.
GORFG members enjoying kangaroo stew

For Reconciliation Week 2010 the theme was: “Are we there yet?”

Volunteers at the Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group set up a series of events for this year’s Reconciliation Week (30th May, 2010) – the ten year anniversary of Corroboree 2000 and the bridge walks for reconciliation.

Welcome to country - David Tournier
One Fire is the Geelong affiliate of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR Victoria), a not-for-profit NGO run by volunteers in local communities. This year, ANTaR groups across the state asked “Are we there yet?” – have we fulfilled the promise of reconciliation? – and Geelong One Fire used this as the theme for their events”.

An exhibition of local high school students’ artworks, including painting, sculpting, and multimedia, was shown at the Geelong Town Hall foyer during May. The aim was to provide visitors with insight into how younger people view the work of reconciliation.

The Storyteller Game
A family event took place at the adjacent Johnstone Park on Sunday 30th May. Young and old alike attended to share in Australia’s Indigenous heritage, with activities including boomerang making and painting, wattle-seed damper making, didgeridoo and clapstick making.

‘The Storyteller’ game was also available to play at the event. It was developed by local Aboriginal man: Glenn Shea. See www.indigenousstoryteller.com

Boomerang decoating
In the true spirit of reconciliation, One Fire representatives consulted closely with local Wathaurong people in planning the events.

“Reconciliation is the responsibility of all Australian communities, but Geelong has a particular role to play” said One Fire Spokesperson Ron Milligan. “There’s a big Indigenous population in Geelong, but it’s not always visible, and Geelong’s history during the stolen generations is a part of that.

We need to make contact with non-Indigenous people and raise awareness about our history”.

Face painting
Despite its troubled past, Geelong also has a proud history of reconciliation efforts. Ten years ago this year, One Fire organised a special train to transport Geelong residents to the Melbourne bridge walk for reconciliation. Amazingly, Geelong residents filled the train to capacity, and joined thousands of other Victorians in crossing the Princess Bridge.

Damper making
By holding the “Are we there yet?” events, One Fire and ANTaR Victoria aimed to rekindle this spirit of hope.

Boormerang making
For information on ANTaR Victoria’s events – see http://www.antarvictoria.org.au/
Cr. Eddie Kontelj with One Fire Members