For former Bluff man Daniel Kielly, reconciliation is all about celebrating the past and planning for the future.
The indigenous poet, who also goes by the name Dan Davis, will be returning to his hometown next week to take part in several National Reconciliation Week events across the Central Highlands.
‘I’ve been writing poetry since I was eight years old,’ Dan said.
‘I like telling stories and being aboriginal it’s all about talking about where we come from and how our ancestors lived. I grew up learning about my culture and what happened to my people, so as I got older my poetry became more political.’
Last year, Dan released a book of his poetry called My Family, My Law, My Life and My Land. The book includes some of his nationally and internationally renowned works, which were first published on the website Creative Spirits.
Dan said he was looking forward to sharing poems from his book with locals and continuing the conversation about reconciliation.
‘To me, it’s about coming together as one and being united,’ he said.
‘We need to build a better future for our children. As they grow up, we need to teach them what happened in the past was wrong, but let’s move forward. All Australians should be proud of who we are, proud of having an indigenous culture. Reconciliation means a lot to me; I really can’t put it all into words.’
National Reconciliation Week runs from 27 May to 3 June 2019 and this year the theme is ‘Grounded in Truth: Walk Together with Courage’.
Events to celebrate the national awareness movement will be hosted by the Central Highlands Regional Council in Blackwater, Bluff and Emerald (details below).
Mayor Cr Kerry Hayes said council had recently adopted a Reconciliation Action Plan and was committed to building respectful and meaningful relationships between the community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
‘Our region has a rich indigenous history that we recognise as an integral part of our community’s identity,’ he said.
‘As we embark upon our reconciliation journey, we hope to continue to learn and share the traditions and cultures of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and build towards a just, equitable Australia.’
To find out more about reconciliation visit www.reconcilitation.org.au
|Monday 27 May
Blackwater Community Centre
10.30 am to 12.00 pm
|Tuesday 28 May
Bluff State School
9.30 am to 11.00 am
Wednesday 29 May