Elizabeth (Libby) Hindmarsh

What led you to become involved in WRN?

From 2006 I had been working at Elcho Island in NT and later also at an Aboriginal GP in Liverpool. When I stopped doing this work I wanted to find a way to stay connected to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues. Barbara Dutton invited me to WRN.

In your view what are the biggest challenges for genuine reconciliation?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are about 3% of the Australian population. So for many people they are “out of sight and out of mind’. There is still a high level of racism in Australia and some of this is focused on our Indigenous population. We have also failed as a nation in terms of truth telling about our treatment of our First Nations Peoples both about the past  (massacres and loss of land and racism) and in the present (failing to accept and implement the Uluru statement)

How do you see the way forward?

I think the Uluru Statement presents us with a way forward. This involves ”the voice” being made part of our constitution (needs a referendum). We also need to embark on truth telling about the past and present treatment of First Nations Peoples. Then once we have faced and dealt with “the Truth” there needs to be a Treaty as the land was never ceded and “terra nullius” is a complete myth.