Readers Contributions

We welcome our readers to contribute their stories from their local regions see guidelines

Global Connection: First Nations role models meet a delegation of Filipino educators

Notable Gamilaroi woman, Aunty Beryl Van Oploo, an Aboriginal caterer whose specialty is the use of bush ingredients in Australian cuisine and Biripai woman, Aunty Ali Golding, a storyteller in demand for talks with school children on First nations culture met Filipino visitors from the Philippines at a recent yarning event. Read more.

Musings on a Voice: three poems by Deborah Ruiz Wall

Click here to read Deb’s poems

Voice Referendum Community Forum, hosted and reported by Zali Steggal Federal MP for Warringah

On Sunday the 4th April a group of Voice supporters from the northern Sydney region attended a most uplifting community forum hosted by Zali with panelists Dean Parkin, Director of the national Yes Campaign,Tony McAvoy SC and Semara Jose Chairperson of Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good – all three deadly warriors for justice for their First Nations people. The large theatre at the Cremorne Orpheum seemed pretty full; the audience had been requested to submit questions before the event and Zali presented these questions to the Panelists for responses – a great way to have panelists and audience totally engaged.

We are grateful to Zali for allowing us to republish her Report to Warringah constituents here, along with Zali’s excellent short ‘Voice Summary video’ and the full length recording. Thanks Sheilagh Kelly.

Click here to read Zali’s Report and watch the shorter or full length videos of the event.

Come Walk With Us, Vicky Morta’s story by Robyn Hutchinson

A gathering of residents from diverse backgrounds gathered at the Pavilion in Marrickville to view excerpts from the soon to be released documentary, Come Walk With Us, Vicky Morta’s story, a seafarer and member of the Maritime Union of Australia. Click here to read article

Conversations with Teela Reid and Simon Longstaff: Unpacking the Voice to Parliament

On the 4th April at the Ethics Centre Sydney proud Wiradjuri Wailan woman, lawyer Teela Reid joined Dr Simon Longstaff to unpack the Voice to Parliament. Click here to view article

Say YES! to the Together, Yes campaign!

Our monthly WRN on yarn on March 30 included a presentation and workshops, led by WRN member Angie Finn about the Together, Yes campaign, with about 50 people attending face-to-face and on zoom. Here is a snapshot of Angie’s presentation. Click here to view article

The following 5 articles report on the national launch of the official Yes 23 Campaign

Yes23 Campaign, on Kaurna Country, Adelaide 21-23 Feb 2023

Over 300 activists from all corners and sectors of Australia gathered at Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute for the launch of the Voice to Parliament Yes 23 campaign. Organised by From the Heart, the constant buzz was inspiring – from mob to community groups and from unions to corporates. Together, our networking knew no bounds! The launch opened on Tuesday evening with high-energy networking over drinks, and setting the context for three days of creativity! Click here to view article

Newcastle City launch of the Yes23 campaign by Ros Madden and Tracy DeGeer

Hundreds of supporters gathered in Gregson Park, Hamilton to attend the Newcastle launch of the Yes23 campaign on 26 February. A beautiful welcome to country was followed by children dancing, didgeridoo music and, towards the end, enthusiastic speeches by local politicians from three levels of government. Click here to view article

Inner West BBQ for the Voice to Parliament by Ros Bradley

Despite the soaring heat, hundreds turned out on Saturday afternoon 18 February, at Petersham Park for a sausage sizzle and heard three impassioned speakers talk about the Voice to parliament including Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. Click here to view article

Voice to Parliament Community Forum Saturday Feb 18, 2023 by Angie Finn

Over 400 people packed the lecture theatre at the University of Technology Sydney on Saturday 18 February 2023, to participate in a Voice to Parliament Community Forum hosted by Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek. View article here

It’s time for the Voice of First Peoples to be recognised and enshrined in our Constitution by Deborah Ruiz-Wall

Policies designed and laws passed that affect the lives of First Nations people must reflect their Voice in Parliament protected by its enshrinement in the Australian Constitution. This was the theme around the ‘Walking Together Uluru Statement from the Heart’ workshop held at the Uniting Church Hall in Springwood last Sunday, February 19. Non-Indigenous and Indigenous residents of the Blue Mountains and Penrith came to the workshop opened by Gundungurra and Darug elder, Aunty Carol Cooper. Click here to view article

 A YES vote – Grassroots and corporate working & walking together by Robyn Hutchinson

A brief reflection on a few events and activities over the past few weeks in NSW View article here

Superfecta: Reflections from ‘Meetings’ with remarkable Australians by Sheilagh Kelly

Four public addresses all delivered by remarkable First Nations leaders from different generations. All speak of ‘where we are as a nation today and what lies ahead for us all’; all  reference the request to the Australian people to walk with First Nations people as articulated in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. View article here

Ride for the Heart-Reflections by Ros Bradley

They say timing is everything. RIDE FOR THE HEART scored well here. One week before our departure, Labour leader and Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese used his election night victory speech on 21 May to ‘commit to the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full’. True political bravery!

Pathways to Peace: poem by Deborah Ruiz Wall

During Reconciliation Week in 2022, Deborah shared her poems with Women’s Reconciliation Network. Her poems were her reflections eight months after the government said ‘Sorry’ on 13 February 2008, and fourteen years later, in 2022.

You can read Deborah’s powerful poem by clicking this link

Reconciliation Week 2022: children showcasing their heritage

Photographer Jenny Templin snaps local school children dancing in
the heart of Redfern, with a smoking ceremony held before proceedings began.

See the slide show at:

Aboriginal elder shares the story of her family’s experience in the gully Katoomba

By Deborah Wall

Gundungurra and Darug elder, Aunty Carol Cooper gave a first-hand account of her family’s life at a public event Walking on Country at the Gully with Aunty Carol Cooper on May 4 attended by 54 people. The event, hosted by the Covenanting Group from Leura Uniting Church, provided an opportunity for the public to meet Aunty Carol in person and hear her story of the Gully from her own experience.


152nd anniversary of Cook’s arrival in Botany Bay

Jenny Templin, photographer captures a very different re-enactment of Captain Cook’s arrival in Botany Bay to the one Australian authorities imagined for the Sesquicentennial year in 2020!

Fire Stories Cronulla Beach 23 April 2022

Professional photographer Jenny Templin captures the inspiring celebration of the Gweagal First Nations culture taking place on her local beach Cronulla earlier this year.


Blue Mountains celebrates International Women’s Day at the Cultural Centre

Deborah Wall records International Women’s Day at the cultural centre.

Three Aboriginal people were among the 100 women featured in Brigitte Grant’s book, Women’s Journeys: Blue Mountains Women and their Stories: Jo Clancy, Becky Chatfield and Elly Chatfield.

Yabun 2022

by Jenny Templin photographer

After a 2 year hiatus due to the pandemic it was great to attend YABUN in Victoria Park once again, offering my services as a photographer to document Survival Day on January 26th and the wonderful cultural activities involved…something I’ve been doing for years.

First Nations Exhibition at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre

06/03/22 By Sheilagh Kelly and Sue Storry: Friday, 4th March we headed to Blacktown to the opening of the Exhibition Proper Way: Us Women, Us Men. We were warmly greeted by a sea of smiling faces, taken to the refreshments and told to enjoy drinks and a mountain of sandwiches. The room was a bustle of activity, where artists and visitors mingled and shared stories. We introduced ourselves as members of the Women’s Reconciliation Network and said we’d like to write an article on the event for our website, which was so warmly received. Then we were all asked to step into the side room for the welcome and official opening.

Young First Nations leader highlights the importance of the Uluru Statement from the Heart

04/03/22 By Deborah Ruiz Wall: To hear a young First Nations leader talk about mobilising the next generation to determine their own future in Australia, is so inspiring.

Allira Davis, co-chair and manager of Uluru Youth Dialogue was the guest speaker at a Search Foundation webinar on 3rd March. Allira, a Cobble Cobble woman from the Barrungum and Birrigubba nations of South-East Queensland, and also of South Sea Islander descent from Ambae and Tanna islands, eloquently explained why she supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a First Nations Voice to Parliament.

Farewell from the mountains Elaine & John Telford

24/02/22 By John and Elaine Telford: Dear Blue Mountains Friends, We were very honoured to be with you all last Sunday February 20th at the Lawson Community Centre and we’re now writing to express our gratitude and love to those who gathered together and to friends unable to be present.

Australia Day in the Blue Mountains: A Celebration of Survival

6/02/22 By Deborah Wall, Leura Uniting Church Covenanting member and Women’s Reconciliation Network member

A contemporary Aboriginal choreographer and Director of Wagana Aboriginal Dancers, Jo Clancy danced with her students mimicking hunting and gathering motions of traditional people and other creatures of the land that feed and survive on Mother Earth’s terrain. Their creative performance highlighted for me the link between humanity’s sustainability and the need for us all to conserve our planet earth’s natural resources.

Ride with Aboriginal Peoples Manly (kay-ye-my) to Church Point (Garigal)

30/01/22 Aboriginal Support Group Manly Warringah Pittwater: by Neil Evers with organisers for Ride- Colin Hutton, Neil Evers, Clair Jackson and many others

The 4th annual Ride with Aboriginal Peoples event, held on January 26th each year, a gesture to acknowledge that not all Australians see Australia Day in the same way and to stand with Aboriginal Peoples’ aim for unity for All Australians.

Waking up the Snake – building a coalition for hope!

18/09/21 By (Waskam) Emelda Davis & Robyn Hutchinson

FIRST NATIONS DAY Yarnings held on Saturday, 18 September, 2021

‘Waking up the Snake – a coalition for hope’, is a quote from Dr Anne Peolina, which well describes the deadly yarning that took place on Saturday, 18 September. The amazing photo is one of Craig Cromelin’s. Both Anne and Craig, were 2 of 18 panellists on the series of 4 yarnings, over the day. The day of yarning was curated and hosted by Thomas Mayor, Torres Strait Islander, born and raised onLarrakia Country in Darwin.

Readers Contributions -Waking up the Snake – building a coalition for hope! – Women’s Reconciliation Network (

An Australian first for Arrernte youth

26/07/21 By Sue Storry: WRN member

In Australia’s centre, on Arrernte country, First Nations youth have created an absolute gem, and with it a first for Australia. At a library in Mparntwe / Alice Springs, Arrernte youth, together with cultural advisors and digital experts made history when they created a series of 90 emojis that tell their own story.

From little things big things grow!

21/07/21 By Rosalind Bradley: WRN member

Congratulations to Gomeroi woman Rachel McPhail who successfully campaigned Australia Post for First Nations place names to be on our mail.