To: Everyone who is supportive of reconciliation in Australia ~ individuals, organisations, governments, philanthropists & businesses to:
Myall Creek Centre for Reconciliation
1. Sign this Register of Support for the establishment of the Myall Creek Centre for Reconciliation, and
2. Share this Register with your friends, family, work colleagues and networks for them to also consider signing.
A very broad base of support is essential to demonstrate the national significance of the Myall Creek Centre for Reconciliation. We need to show that it is endorsed by many people, families, clans, cultures, organisations, nations and more.
We describe this as a Register of Support rather than as a petition because we believe reconciliation requires individuals, organisations and authorities to work together to make this happen. This is different to petitioning a Minister or a Government to take action, though we are calling on them to demonstrate their support as well!
Why is this important?
The Myall Creek Centre for Reconciliation will be of national significance to Australia's reconciliation process and “Closing the Gap” for Aboriginal and Indigenous people.
The Centre is likely to be the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Despite the systemic nature of colonial conflict and the violence against and dispossession of first peoples, there is as yet no facility commemorating this history which provides year-round programs focussed on reconciliation, healing and learning. While similar programs exist to respect, remember and learn from war (memorials), apartheid (museums), holocaust (centres) and genocide (universities), it seems that building respect between black and white people is as new a frontier for Australians as it is for the rest of the world.
The Myall Creek Centre for Reconciliation will be situated near the site of the massacre of the Wirrayaraay clan of the Gamilaroi people which occurred at Myall Creek on 10 June 1838. For the first and last time in Australian history, the perpetrators of a massacre of Aboriginal people were brought to justice for murder. It was also the first time that Aboriginal Australians were recognised as human in the eyes of Colonial Australian Law, and so pre-dating by more than a century the historic 1967 Referendum for Aboriginal people's right-to-vote.
The story of Myall Creek has been recounted many times in documentaries, school and university curricula, novels, poems and art. Importantly, the site was recognised with a National Heritage listing on the occasion of the 170th anniversary of the massacre (2008) and listed on the NSW Heritage Register in 2010. Myall Creek was awarded the Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation's Judith Wright Reconciliation Prize in 2003.
Thousands of Australians have attended the Annual Myall Creek Memorial Ceremony which coincides with the anniversary of the massacre each year. Thousands more students and visitors have experienced the Myall Creek Memorial Walkway ~ a series of plaques telling this important story.
Once established, the Centre will be an iconic and stunning facility, providing a comprehensive range of programs spanning reconciliation, healing, health, education and culture. It will cater to a range of interests including students, researchers, educators, health practitioners and tourists. Programs will be delivered both on-site and on-line to optimise community engagement, participation and reach.
How it will be delivered
This Support Register will be used by The Friends of Myall Creek Memorial Committee as evidence of widespread public support for the Centre. In turn, this will strengthen the Committee's influence in their negotiations, fundraising, partnership building and so on as are required for the successful creation and operation of the Centre.