Message Stick to start journey of reconciliation
In the lead up to the launch of our union’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) later this year, a traditional Indigenous form of communication will represent an important part of formally recognising Australia’s First Peoples.
The message stick, which was donated by IEUA-QNT member, Noonuccal woman and Quandamooka elder, Thersa Nunn, to our union Council on 13 March 2016, will soon make its way across Queensland and the Northern Territory, starting its journey in Cairns next week.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said our union invites all members to show their solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by participating in passing the message stick onwards.
“As the message stick makes its way through Queensland and the Northern Territory, we hope to collect messages of support from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that will eventually form a permanent display in the foyer of our Brisbane office,” Mr Burke said.
“This is significant because it is consistent with our goal of developing a RAP that emphasises the simplicity and power of one-on-one interactions between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.”
Ms Nunn, who generously donated the message stick, said use of this form of communication is a gesture designed to replicate the traditional method of exchanging information between different Indigenous clans and language groups.
By offering the message stick she hopes to see the RAP become a message in itself.
“For me the message stick is a symbol of our union’s growth in strength and respect for each other and to never forget that everyone walks the path of reconciliation together with us,” she said.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members who are interested in transferring the message stick to elders and community members in Queensland and the Northern Territory are encouraged to contact their organiser for more details.