A wonderful event full of valued guests: The launch of the book by Eddie Bear and Robert Hoskin ‘Return to Majaddin: A Kimberley Homecoming’ started with the church service and continued after a short break. Various speakers have talked about their perspective on reconciliation between white people and Aboriginal people. Robert has created 70 black footprints symbolising the 70,000 years that Aboriginal people reside in this land. White people have “received” one-quarter of the footprint and visually, it was immediately clear who’s land Australia is. From everything what happened during this event to remember we can mention Rev John McRae giving the reflection on reconciliation from the perspective of a process (never-ending) rather than a point in time, Naomi Wolfe speaking on behalf of the Aboriginal community at ACU and Jacques Boulet (see Web- Borderlands) speaking on behalf of Borderlands and OASES.
The event was hosted by David Pargeter, the minister of St Kilda Parish, who also interviewed Robert Hoskin with the focus on his 10-year journey on reconciliation. From their common experience, sometimes it is enough just to come and say hello. The response may surprise you and if you are ready to remove all the prejudice, you might find every encounter with a different culture enriching and inspiring. This was also stressed my Jacques Boulet who told that we should not be aiming to be a “pure” culture but rather strive to become the best “hybrids” available, sharing the experience and learning from everyone around us.
A film clip prepared by Brad Spring, a manager of the Derby Radio Station (6dby), was shown. The film presented Vince and Eddie Bear speaking from important sites in the Napier Pastoral Station where they lived as children and youth. Robert Hoskin talked about his journey and what the frequent changes of locations meant for Eddie and his family. His reflection was accompanied on harp by Mary Doumany, who also brought her incredible artistry.