Indi Kowalczyk from Cooran
Indi Kowalczyk from Cooran

Planting fertile seeds for Noosa reconciliation

NOOSA is embracing the National Reconciliation Week launched yesterday at Noosa Library with the theme Grounded in Truth, Walk Together with Courage.

This brings together ancient and modern cultures embodied by the Reconciliation Tree art installation by Trish Lehmann made fertile with evocative community messages of hope.

United Synergies NRW project officer Susan Beaton said students from Cooran to Tewantin to Coolum- Peregian have been busy writing and drawing messages on recycled leaf, heart and hand templates in the lead-up. They were to be placed on the tree under the guidance of Kabi Kabi custodian Lyndon Davis yesterday from noon at the Noosa Library.

"Joining Lyndon at the event, is Tewantin State School children singing We are Australian in Kabi Kabi language. Our tree and messages are about encouraging conversation towards a unified community,” Ms Beaton said.

"I think people are taking a global perspective as well with the terror attacks and the (mass shooting) tragedy in New Zealand.

"This is about more acceptance and remembering the wrongs of the past to try and start doing some things right now.

Ms Beaton said the children had been quick to embrace the concept.

"It's quite black and white to them - you be nice and inclusive to people,” she said.

Locals and visitors are encouraged to contribute messages, by visiting the library during NRW.

"We will be planting a native water gum post event inclusive of a selection of engraved messages from NRW 2019, so we can reflect on how community hopes are realised as the tree grows and matures over time, just as Australia's reconciliation journey evolves,” Ms Beaton said.

"We thank our local community for your support and involvement.”

The project is a joint initiative of United Synergies, a youth service based in Tewantin, Gubbi Gubbi Dance, artist Trish Lehmann and Tewantin State School, Noosa Council and the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

Peter Gardiner


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