Cultivating dreams

Prime Minister Gillard has announced a referendum as to whether we include a recognition of indigenous Australians in the constitution. Sam Watson, an indigenous activist, has dismissed it as a political ploy.

Relationships with indigenous Australians have a troubled history, and a sometimes turbulent present, so the issue can be difficult to engage with. Yet those of us who desire wholeness for all do our (sometimes tentative) best.

Just over a week ago, I sat there marveling as a young indigenous woman shyly addressed nearly 700 women. This young woman’s goal to become the first hairdresser in the indigenous community of Aurukun displayed a courage to dream in the face of despair.

Then just two days later, I coincidentally discovered that an indigenous people on the Sunshine Coast had collaborated on a new iPhone app to encourage ecotourism.

It was at that point that I realized cultivating inspiration, encouraging innovation, and empowering initiative seems all too often to be missing from our social narrative on indigenous issues. Perhaps it’s time to recalibrate our conversation.

 

~ Ruth Limkin