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SISTER MARY: Flying the flag for Wiradjuri and sacred ground

THE banners along Summer Street last week were promoting NAIDOC Week.
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Some excellent events took place, especially in the schools, but I wondered how well informed the general population was about this celebration, its meaning and its significance.

National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance is generally held early in July.

However, since that is not an optimal time in Orange weather, our Aboriginal residents transferred it to early October instead. Good thinking?

The 2015 Theme for NAIDOC Week is impressive: “We all stand on sacred ground: learn, respect and celebrate.”

That is certainly a motto everyone needs to embrace, explore and put into practice.

Traditionally, the Aboriginal people have a long and enduring affiliation with the land and the need to care for it and protect it.

As a nation, we need to be much more aware and alert to the dangers of pollution and the desecration of our land.

Attention to the pollution of the air we breathe, of our waterways, even of our world renowned coral reef is not something we can defer or ignore.

In his recent encyclical letter Laudato Si Pope Francis focussed on “caring for our common home” from the basis of ecology and climate.

We can’t afford to put it in the too hard basket.

Respect is an all encompassing word that takes in everyone, and everything in our world.

It is well overdue for our constitution to acknowledge the place of our indigenous people in the fabric of Australian society.

The apology to the stolen generation was a big step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to rectify the mistakes of the past, and ensure that all the citizens of Australia are able to live in dignity and freedom, with equality at all levels.

Thank-you Wiradjuri fellow citizens for your contribution to the welfare of our land.

We salute you.

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