Forum put recognition under spotlight

TIME TO RECOGNISE: Mayor Gary Rush, pictured with elder Stevie Widders and Recognise deputy director communications Johanna Kerin, attended the Journey to Recognise community discussion on Saturday. Photo: PHILL MURRAY 	040216precon2

TIME TO RECOGNISE: Mayor Gary Rush, pictured with elder Stevie Widders and Recognise deputy director communications Johanna Kerin, attended the Journey to Recognise community discussion on Saturday. Photo: PHILL MURRAY 040216precon2

MEMBERS of the community attended a forum on Saturday that aimed to raise awareness about constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

Journey to Recognise began in May, 2013 and has so far visited more than 250 communities around the country.

During the past week, Recognise has visited a number of communities in the Central West, including Orange, Bathurst and Cowra. 

Saturday’s event in Peace Park by the Macquarie River was a community discussion about constitutional recognition that talked about the referendum to be held in 2017, what level of recognition there is currently for Indigenous Australians in the Constitution and what the process is to change the Constitution.

Recognise deputy director communications Johanna Kerin said the Bathurst leg of the journey featured three speakers before the floor was opened to questions from the audience. 

“There was Uncle Stevie Widders, Lachlan McDaniel and the mayor of Bathurst also spoke briefly,” she said. 

The event attracted about 60 people and included the Wagganah Aboriginal Dance Group and a free lunch after the discussion.

Ms Kerin said it was a good to see people support the event and said the day was a success.

“We got to speak to lots of people and that is generally how we measure the success of the event,” she said.

Bathurst Wiradyuri elder Dinawan Dyirribang attended Journey to Recognise on Saturday and said it was an important step in making people aware about the campaign and the 2017 referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.

“Most of us were in support of it because it is about what the benefits of recognition will bring to Aboriginals,” he said.

For more information about the aims of Recognise, visit www.recognise.org.au/thejourney.

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