Words matter, language matters and history matters. That important message resonates through NAIDOC Week and the national conversation on reconciliation.
The 2023 NAIDOC Week theme is ‘for our Elders’, and Region is proud to launch our second stage Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with the help of Ngunnawal elder Dr Caroline Hughes and our advisory board chair Glenys Beauchamp.
“As a child, I was forbidden to speak my language”, Dr Hughes told Region staff at the launch event yesterday (6 July).
“I’m proud to lead the re-awakening, breathing the breath of life back into Ngunnawal language. I haven’t done this on my own, it has taken a community, but for me, this has been an enduring passion”.
Dr Hughes, who is also executive director at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), talked about her depth of connection to the country where her ancestors have lived for 4000 generations.
“No buildings, no concrete floors stop the feeling of being on my country,” she said.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be at home. This is our place”.
Region advisory board chair Glenys Beauchamp has been a champion of reconciliation throughout her lengthy public service career and beyond. She’s welcomed the role media can play in the reconciliation space and the commitment Region‘s co-CEOs and executives have made to implement the plan.
Region‘s Innovate RAP embodies a promise to use our voice in all communities where we work to raise awareness, build networks and enable the reconciliation conversation.
We believe the media industry has a vital role in fostering discussion, providing accurate and timely content about current issues and enabling people to make informed choices, especially in this year of the Voice referendum.
It’s not our role to tell anyone how to vote, but if we can provide consistent, fair and balanced reporting, we empower people to make up their own minds in full possession of the facts.
Region now operates across much of southern NSW, including Region Riverina and Region Illawarra and in Far North Queensland via the Cape York Weekly.
We’re now working on the lands of the Ngunnawal people of the Canberra region, the Yuin people of the South Coast, the Wiradjuri people of the Riverina, the Dharawal people of the Illawarra, and the Anathangayth, Alngith, Peppan, Thanakwithi and Wathyn people of Cape York.
We’ve worked with a community advisor in each location to set up strong networks with traditional owners. Our editors at each location will continue to build those relationships and produce content that reflects the diversity of their experiences.
Our commitment to local stories about local people everywhere we go is also at the heart of Region‘s Reconciliation commitment.
The measures in our plan are practical and grounded in our everyday operations. They’re not about tokenism but workable ways Region can do our bit for the national conversation.
You can read our Reconciliation Action Plan on Region’s corporate site.