Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Yugambeh elders carry the spirit of reconciliation to Buckingham Palace

Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones today announced a Commonwealth Games Reconciliation Action Plan as two Yugambeh elders prepare to travel to London to attend the launch of the Queen’s Baton Relay.

Ms Jones said Yugambeh people, Elders Patricia O’Connor and Ted Williams, would travel to London as part of an official Queensland delegation.

“Elders Patricia and Ted will join guests at Buckingham Palace on 13 March and formally invite the First Nations’ people of the Commonwealth to attend the Games in 2018,” Ms Jones said.

“This is the first time ever traditional owners have been involved in the launch of the Queen’s Baton Relay.

“I want to thank Elders Ted and Patricia for representing the Yugambeh people at the launch of the Queen’s Baton Relay which is a major milestone in our journey towards the Games.”

Ms Jones also announced the Palaszczuk Government had approved a Reconciliation Action Plan to drive meaningful outcomes for Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the Commonwealth Games.

“This plan is part of our commitment to genuine and meaningful reconciliation,” she said.

“The Reconciliation Action Plan will identify opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to play a role in the delivery of GC2018.

“As a nationwide first for an event of this scale, the Reconciliation Action Plan will drive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment and training opportunities.

“It will also provide authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural experiences for GC2018 and beyond.

“Our Games partners will continue to work with Reconciliation Australia to roll out the plan that will drive greater equality and opportunities.”

 Ms Jones said Indigenous creative agency Gilimbaa would design the final Reconciliation Action Plan document that willreflect the rich and diverse cultures of the Gold Coast and Queensland.

“We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners along with the Yugambeh Elders Advisory Group and Gold Coast Indigenous Working Group who have helped develop this plan,” she said.

“Their contribution will ensure the Games nurtures a rich and powerful sense of community pride and ownership throughout Queensland and particularly in our event cities of the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns.”

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) Chairman Peter Beattie AC said the GC2018 RAP was the first of its kind for an event of this scale and would contribute to the Games’ legacy by setting a benchmark for all future major events in Australia and across the Commonwealth.

“GOLDOC is looking forward to continuing the work they are doing with Games delivery partners and stakeholders to realise great outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as a result of the GC2018 RAP,” Mr Beattie said.

The Office of the Commonwealth Games and GOLDOC will work closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to formally release the RAP.

Final endorsement of the RAP will be sought from Reconciliation Australia before it is made publicly available in coming weeks.

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