Imagine trust being the guiding intent – instead of fear and ‘power-over’ – when the tall ships arrived on Australia’s shores. Imagine if the arrivals had listened to the example from the First Nations people who received them with an open, albeit apprehensive heart, on a land that they believed owned them, rather than believing that they owned the land.
Imagine if messages that were borne from knowing that nature is our greatest teacher had been heard. Imagine how much improved would be the state of human relations and the condition of this ancient land, had those voices been heard.
As an artist who has collaborated, by invitation, extensively with First Nations people in cities and remote communities, there is much to value in cues of trust. These people have always given me a ‘fair go’ to prove my worth in their over-governed communities where their agency is clipped like the wings of a bird.
I have grown a deeper understanding of all that is from a culture that holds at its heart the wellbeing of this land. Their values are what the world needs now.
I was 24 years old in 1988, I arrived with an intention to learn from these people. Art was a bridge and they let this stranger into their hearts. My experiences and world view are better for having chosen trust.
‘Yes’ is a powerful force for the extraordinary.
Samantha Wortelhock, Pambula
Find out more on the Voice to Parliament
‘How the Voice will help government’ by Fred Chaney in The Saturday Paper: www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au.
Julian Leeser interview on RN.