4 days ago
As #NAIDOCWeek 2018 draws to a close, we spoke to our South Australian resident Latoya, who is undertaking a degree in social work and indigenous advocacy, about the concept of home, and to share her thoughts on reconciliation in Australia. She told us:
"The notion of ‘home’ to me is centred on the safety, stability and rest it provides for me and the Black and Indigenous Women and Women of Colour in my life. It comprises a spirit of peace, unconditional love and acceptance – this is important for a number of obvious reasons, but mostly for the benefit of facilitating space for self-care and empowerment in a world that largely relies on us to give of ourselves with not much in return. It is a place where we build each other up and can be totally ourselves without expectations or judgement. A Samoan sister of mine in Aotearoa recently made a beautiful short film about the Grandmothers and Aunties in her community that come together in one house to drink tea, cook lunch and play cards throughout the week. The film displayed how the notion of ‘home’ for the community of Samoan and other Pacifika Women translated to a centre of celebration, healing and joy for them. I resonated with the film deeply as it captures the essence of my community of Aboriginal women, particularly on Kaurna Land, and the love and care we hold for each other. This year’s NAIDOC theme is ‘Because of Her we can’ – the time for respecting and supporting Aboriginal Women, acknowledging Aboriginal Women’s works and time and energy and paying us adequately for this, and recognising Aboriginal Women’s leadership as integral to the maintenance of our society, particularly our health and well-being… it’s right now.
Reconciliation cannot occur until conciliation is achieved – that is, the establishment of relationships between Aboriginal peoples and non-Aboriginal peoples built on the recognition and support for Aboriginal sovereignty. Australia has a long-standing history of colonisation which has developed into systemic oppression of Aboriginal knowledges, cultures and lands. An impact of this has been the view that Aboriginal peoples have been conquered, are ‘complainers’ who need to ‘move on’ and are treated just as equally as Australians in society today – this has silenced our voices and negated our diverse experiences in discussions toward facilitating change. I believe that for us to get to a place where reconciliation is possible, it is important to recognise the role ‘race’ plays within such systems today and how history informs much of our political and socio-economic structures. For example, while Australian Women were fighting for the right to vote Aboriginal Women were still recognised as ‘alien’ and were not counted in the census as human subjects. Thankfully today there is growing recognition of an intersectional feminism where relationships are being built on acknowledging the inequalities that Black Women have to navigate and there is collective work being performed towards dismantling the barriers in place that keep Black Women silenced. But, there is much more work to be done and most of this requires Australians to look within themselves and realise their potential to create a society void of superiority over another nation’s existence."
#becauseofherwecan #HomeToMe ... See MoreSee Less
6 days ago
As part of NAIDOC Week, we asked one of our residents what ‘home’ means to them, and the idea of reconciliation more broadly. Hellen, our Tasmanian resident and mother of four, responded simply with ‘family’.
“Being able to be in a comfortable space, all together where I can raise my children, keep them safe, happy, keep a roof over their head - as long as we’re all together in the one house, that's home to me.”
Hellen’s four children range from a 9 year old son, 7 year old step-daughter and 3 year old twins. Identifying her lineage from the Truganini Mob, Hellen spoke about reconciliation.
“Inclusion is number one. Making sure that Aboriginal families and children are all viewed as equal; as non-Aboriginals. I want to raise my kids to have the same opportunities as non-Aboriginals. We are all people - inclusion and acceptance is key, but we want to respect our culture and heritage. I’d love for my kids to grow up embracing our culture, while enjoying the same opportunities as everyone else.”
#BecauseOfHerWeCan #NAIDOCweek #HomeToMe ... See MoreSee Less
3 weeks ago
Yesterday, Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz MP toured one of our properties where she announced a $4.9m Victorian Property Fund grant to Housing Choices for the rebuild of 24 new affordable homes for low-income and vulnerable Victorians - joined by City of Dandenong Councillor Tim Dark and Housing Choices Board Member Fabienne.
The two properties in Dandenong and Newport will include 3 dwellings designed specifically for people with disability and will increase the number of affordable homes across Victoria.
Minister Kairouz said, “Affordable housing projects give vulnerable Victorians the security they need to thrive. We’re investing in more of these dwellings, so that people going through hard times can rebuild their lives.”
Read the media release here: www.housingchoices.org.au/wp-content/uploads/HCAU_MediaRelease_Ministerial_Annoucement_VPF_201806... ... See MoreSee Less