Opinion: Sorry Day – The importance of knowledge

My name is Carissa Lee Godwin. I’m a Wemba-Wemba and Noongar woman, and Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO) Specialist Editor for the First Peoples & Public Policy Collection. To me, knowledge is important, it’s something that has been passed on between generations within the many nations of the First Peoples of Australia. Unfortunately, a lot of First Peoples’ knowledge has been lost due to one in ten Indigenous children being forcibly removed from their families between 1910 and 1970 – breaking vital links to our generational knowledge.

Significance of Sorry Day

Sorry Day is a day where Australia acknowledges the mistreatment of First Nations peoples, namely the taking of First Nations children from their families, creating what are known as the Stolen Generations. The 26th of May 1997 was the date that the Bringing them home report – a guide to the findings and recommendations of the National Inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families – was tabled in parliament.

Sorry Day is followed by National Reconciliation Week on the 27th of May, which marks the date when the 1967 referendum took place. National Reconciliation Week concludes on the 3rd of June, which is when the High Court Mabo decision took place. The 1967 referendum is significant because this is when First Nations people were finally recognised as part of the Constitution of Australia. The Mabo decision led to the recognition of First Nations peoples and their ownership of land under the Native Title Act 1993 – which recognises the traditional rights and interests to land and waters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, there is still a long way to go on First Nations people being treated equally and being given rights to their land, even with amendments to the Constitution and the Native Title Act.

National Reconciliation Week

The placement of National Reconciliation Week after Sorry Day feels symbolic because in order for us to reconcile between and across cultures, we need to first acknowledge the wrongs that have been done. Reconciliation cannot happen without this first step. National Reconciliation Week has a theme each year, this year the theme is ‘Grounded in Truth – Walk Together in Courage’. This week is an opportunity for different cultures to come together and learn about First Nations people in an act of reconciliation, with organisations such as APO’s host Swinburne University of Technology holding events for Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week.

Public apologies and refusals

On the 12th of December 1992, as part of the celebration for the Year of the World’s Indigenous People, Paul Keating issued his Redfern speech to the citizens of Australia, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, stating his empathy and remorse at the occurrence of Indigenous children being taken from their families. He acknowledged that Australia was to blame for this, as well as the high numbers of Aboriginal deaths recorded in the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody Report that had been collated the previous year. Over a decade later, then-prime minister Kevin Rudd issued his apology speech on the 13th of February, 2008. This was a significant moment in Australian history, after the previous prime minister John Howard had vocally refused to apologise.

Lasting trauma of the Stolen Generations

One misconception about Sorry Day is that all Australia needs to do is acknowledge that Indigenous children were taken, and be sorry about it. However, the effects of such an act of disregard against human beings doesn’t stop there. Trauma is cruel like that. Australia needs to also recognise the intergenerational trauma that has occurred as a result of the Stolen Generations, the numerous massacres, ongoing police brutality, and institutionalised racism, a lot of which still happens today.

Continue reading “Opinion: Sorry Day – The importance of knowledge”

Meet Carissa – First Peoples Collection Editor

The APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection (FPPP Collection) was launched in partnership with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) in February 2019. I spoke to Carissa Lee Godwin, Specialist Editor of the Collection and First Nations academic, about the need for this Collection in the First Peoples’ policy space.

Carissa Lee Godwin, Specialist Editor for the APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection

Emily: Carissa, welcome. It’s fantastic to have your specialist First Peoples knowledge contributing to APO. To start, can you tell me a little about your background?

Carissa: I’m a Wemba-Wemba and Noongar woman. I’m currently completing my PhD in Indigenous Theatre through The University of Melbourne. 

Emily: Can you give us a quick intro to the Collection? 

Carissa: Yes, of course. The APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection was launched at the ANZSOG Reimagining Public Administration Conference in February this year, and it’s fast becoming one of the most visited Collections on the APO site. The Collection collates and curates policy-relevant and accessible resources specific to First Peoples. It focuses on Australian and New Zealand resources, as well as international First Nations resources, where relevant.

Emily: Why did APO partner with ANZSOG on this Collection?

Carissa: ANZSOG believed that we could assist with better education of First Peoples’ and public policy through the Collection, with the goal of influencing better policies being created as a result.

Emily: Can you share what kinds of resources this Collection contains?

Carissa: We collect and curate articles, publications, policy and government documents. A notable quality of First Peoples is that we’re great speakers, so the Collection also has transcriptions, video and audio files available to access.

Emily: Providing ‘spoken word’ resources sounds wonderful. Can you tell me a little bit about your personal experience being a First Nations researcher? Are there any particular challenges that you’ve faced?

Carissa: As a First Nations and First Peoples academic, I have found that it’s not always straightforward when it comes to accessing First Nations-themed or First Nations-written materials. It’s often especially difficult to find out if a particular resource was written by an Indigenous person. 

The development of this Collection needs to be a collaborative process. I can’t stress that enough. Because that’s how mob work.

Carissa Lee Godwin, First Peoples Collection Editor

Emily: So are you saying that there is a need for Indigenous academics to reference materials by other Indigenous authors, but it’s hard to find this information?

Carissa: Exactly. Some First Nations academics, myself included, like to ensure that their literature review predominantly contains materials written by other First Peoples, so as to ensure cultural and ethical integrity within our research. 

Emily: It must be frustrating not being able to find that information easily when it is so crucial to your research.

Carissa: Yes. Because ethnicity isn’t always explicitly stated on some search engines, this can be a tricky endeavour. In addition to this, it’s often useful to know what mob/nation is being represented in the publication being read, as not all First Peoples belong to the same groups.

Emily: Is there anything else that makes this Collection special? I mean, some people may ask why they can’t just use Google, or search for these resources on APO.

Carissa: All APO Collections are designed to make the research experience much more efficient and provide a space to explore both broad and focused subjects. 

Emily: Can you share your key objectives for this Collection with us?

Continue reading “Meet Carissa – First Peoples Collection Editor”

APO Digital Inclusion Collection relaunched

APO has relaunched the Digital Inclusion Collection with the support of the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University and Dr Chris K. Wilson, who will be writing a new Digital Inclusion review every month.

In recent years, digital inclusion has emerged as a critical area of investigation and policy development in Australia as it has elsewhere. Digital technologies have become progressively more deeply embedded in work, education, government, health, and other aspects of everyday experience. The goal of digital inclusion is to enable everyone to access and use digital technologies effectively and to do so in an affordable and sustainable manner.

APO’s Digital Inclusion Collection reflects and promotes these issues and we’re very pleased to relaunch the collection with the support of the Centre for Social Impact (Swinburne University node) through the expertise of Research Fellow, Dr Chris K. Wilson.

Dr Chris K. Wilson speaking at Ageing in a Digital World a conference hosted by 3Bridges Community as part of their 3Point Connect series (Sydney, 2 April 2019)

Chris is principal analyst for the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) project, a collaborative venture between the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University, RMIT University, Telstra and Roy Morgan Research. As the expert collection curator, Chris will contribute new resources and review existing content in a monthly Digital Inclusion review.  You can read his first review here APO Digital Inclusion Collection Brief: April 2019.

If you have feedback or questions about the APO Digital Inclusion Collection please get in touch with our Editorial Team at editors@apo.org.au.

First Peoples public policy collection launches

We are thrilled to announce the APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection, established in partnership with Australia & new Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). This collection has been created to gather together First People’s digital policy resources all in one place.

The APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection (FPPP Collection) highlights existing knowledge, databases and information that support policy and practice for First Peoples. It features resources for and by First Peoples and those working in Indigenous public policy and administration.

The collection was formally launched at the ANZSOG Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms conference on 21 February 2019 in Melbourne.

ANZSOG’s Catherine Althaus officially launches the APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection at the Reimagining Public Administration conference (Melbourne, 21 February 2019)

Welcome to Carissa Godwin

With the arrival of this collection, we warmly welcome Carissa Godwin to the APO team. Carissa is the new Specialist Editor of First Peoples & Public Policy. She will be working with ANZSOG and members of the Indigenous community to curate and develop our First Peoples resources.

APO is hosted at Swinburne University of Technology, the first Australian University to have it’s Reconciliation Action Plan recognised at Elevate status.

Image: Gathering Knowledge. Artist: ARBUP Ash PETERS Wurundjeri/Taungurong Man, local artist and direct descendent of Coranderrk. This painting depicts the continuous cycle of footprints on a never ending journey travelling around Swinburne University’s campuses located on Wurundjeri land.

If you have feedback or queries about the FPPP collection, please get in touch with Carissa Godwin at cgodwin@apo.org.au. For more general enquiries about APO Collections, contact editors@apo.or.au.

APO attends Oceans and Islands Conference

Oceans and Islands Conference : APO Collections Editor Penelope Aitken, Dr Jackie Tuaupiki and Prof. David Robie

In late November APO Collections Editor Penelope Aitken travelled to speak at the New Zealand Institute of Pacific Research’s Oceans and Islands Conference in Auckland.

While she considered the niche and nerdy topic of ‘The catalogue as a cultural practice’ she was delighted to share a panel with the ‘impressively young’ senior lecturer, Dr Jackie Tuaupiki from Waikato University discussing the reclamation of ancient Māori navigational knowledge as well as the extremely eminent former Rainbow Warrior crusader, Prof. David Robie speaking of the Pacific Media Centre and a concerning turn against media freedom during Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) being hosted in Papua New Guinea.

‘These and many other speakers were inspiring to learn of and to seek out for inclusion in APO’s Pacific Research Collection as it navigates into its second year on APO,’ said Penelope of her trip to New Zealand. 

APO Collections Editor Penelope Aitken