It's time for a game-changer in how black and white Australians relate.
Over the last few years, in our work at Social Leadership Australia, we’ve noticed something different happening whenever we have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians in the room. MORE >
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people I know are very good at leadership.
They run over 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across Australia and get excellent results in a group we keep saying is ‘difficult’ and ‘hard to reach’. They have deep knowledge about the sorts of things that will work in their communities. They have for a long time. It’s just that for over 200 years now the rest of us haven’t bothered asking. MORE >
I have stopped believing in coincidences. Last week I travelled from Canberra, where I was working with senior executives in government, to Melbourne, to speak to activists and campaigners at the Progress 2013 conference. The short flight was a journey from the centre of power to the margins. But I was surprised at how much the two groups had in common. Both were interested in change, both had power (although different types of power), both saw themselves as there to make a difference … and both had real troubles hearing the ‘other’.
Then Senator Nova Peris gave her maiden speech.
"I do not consider myself an expert when it comes to finding solutions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' predicament. For too long we've all heard too many people say they have the answers ... and claim the moral high ground. If the answers were easily provided as the questions posed, we simply would not have a problem. In fact the answers are difficult and complex; but they do not lie in absolute positions of simplified slogans."
Senator Nova Peris OAM, Parliament House, Canberra, 13 November 2013 MORE >
Why progress depends on a partnership of polarities
“I can never resonate with more than half of my own home community. People necessarily have a slightly different perspective on issues and those perspectives are not illegitimate… what I’ve been searching for is not to deny that but to find the radical centre of all these tensions.”
— Noel Pearson, Garma Festival, 2013
LAST WEEK at the Garma festival in far North East Arnhem Land, Noel Pearson spoke about the unity of opposites. It was a moving piece of oratory and I encourage you to watch it.MORE >