The University of Newcastle, Australia

Wollotuka Yarning Circle on Constitutional Recognition

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Wollotuka Institute will host a 'yarning circle' at the Birabahn Building on December 11 to discuss constitutional recognition.

Wollotuka Yarning Circle

The panellists for the discussion are journalist and author Mr Jeff McMullen, Federal Member for Newcastle Ms Sharon Claydon MP, and UON alumnus Teela Reid, with Professor Bob Morgan moderating the circle.

Director of the Wollotuka Institute, Professor Peter Radoll said it was important the Institute was central to the discussion of constitutional recognition, engaging both the Aboriginal community and the wider community in the issue.

"It is essential to the progression of social justice in our country that Aboriginal people play an active role in the conversations that directly impact upon us," he said.

"Constitutional recognition is one such conversation and we have a responsibility to not only our own people and communities, but also to the wider community, to discuss this issue alongside one another."

The yarning circle discussion will focus on the impacts constitutional recognition would have on the lives, aspirations and opportunities for Aboriginal people, not only in Newcastle and the Hunter, but also across the country.

"I would like to encourage everyone to come along and participate in this event, to hear some new ideas and discuss their thoughts and feelings about this very important issue," Professor Radoll said.

"Australia's founding document does not recognise Australia's First Peoples. By amending this, by acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the traditional owners of the land, we will be better placed to move toward our goal of unification and true equality."

The inaugural yarning circle will be the flagship event for the Wollotuka Institute's new direction in social engagement and discussion, ensuring the local Aboriginal people and the wider community take a more active role in Indigenous affairs and issues.

"We want to engage young people as part of this discussion to ensure we are encouraging a new generation of strong, informed Aboriginal people who are connected to their culture and country and are passionate and positive about their futures."

The Wollotuka Institute is committed to the advancement and leadership of Indigenous education at a local, national and global level. It also continues to draw strength from culture, communities and past journeys.

Event information: Thursday 11 December 2014, 6.30pm at the Birabahn Building, the Wollotuka Institute, University of Newcastle, Callaghan campus.

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