I really enjoyed the 2016 Fair Ground conference. There were so many amazing presentations that really inspired me.
There were so many highlights from the conference, but by far my favour was Dr Marie Wilson’s presentation about her work for the past six years revealing the history and impacts of more than a century of forced residential schooling for indigenous children in Canada. Her presentation moved me to tears as she explained the pain and suffering of thousands of innocent First Nations children. After her presentation, there was a panel discussion where Dr Williams was join by a number of passionate people working for reconciliation for the Australian indigenous population. These people included Dr Robert Isaacs, an Aboriginal elder from the Whadjuk- Bibilmum Wardandi Noongar language group, a member of the Stolen Generation, and has spent his whole career breaking down the cultural barriers and improving the lives of disadvantaged people; Marcus Mcguire, a Noongar form the Wheatbelt, who lives and works with at-risk Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) young people across WA; Jay McLean, recent graduate from Kiara College, and a young person committed to reconciliation; and Hayley Thompson, a 21 years old Noongar woman who is a Youth Coordinator at the Aboriginal Health Council of WA (AHCWA) since December 2014. This panel discussed how we can achieve reconciliation in Australia with our own indigenous population. There was a number of different ideas and possibilities of how we can unite and breakdown similar social barriers that has also occurred in Canada.
It was a fantastic discussion and it left me excited for a better future for our indigenous population and Australia as a whole.
It was made obvious from Dr William’s presentation that we still have a long way to go here in Australia to achieve reconciliation. However, we are taking a step in the right direction.
This presentation had a great impact on me and I am looking forward to seeing how Australia is going to move forward with these issues.
Fairground made me see how there are so many amazing people working in the youth sector. It was great to network with a new group of people and learn a little bit about all the amazing work everyone is doing. The whole conference was amazing and I cannot wait for Fairground 2018.