“When I was growing up, I was aware that in the constitution my family and I weren’t recognised as people, we were placed with the fur and the fauna.”
These were the words of Wiradjuri Elder Bob Glanville, of Cootamundra, and the reason a push has been initiated to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution.
On Monday in Cootamundra, people will have the opportunity to arm themselves with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision on constitutional change.
‘Recognise’ is a people’s movement aimed at raising awareness of the need for constitutional change on the subject of recognition.
The team will be in Cootamundra between 10am and 2pm.
From 10am, all community members are invited to a panel discussion at The Arts Centre where they can ask questions and listen to what the movement is all about.
“I would encourage all community members to be there, this is for everyone,” Mr Glanville said.
He said whether you believe in constitutional recognition or not, or feel you are not well-enough informed to participate in a referendum on the subject, Recognise aims to equip all with a non-biased knowledge.
The panel will include Stan Grant and former local Jason Glanville, who now works in Sydney.
Mr Glanville is an advocate for constitutional recognition.
“It is about paying respect, the respect that is deserved,” he said.
Cootamundra has been chosen as a stop on the Recognise tour, which has so far covered 35,000 kilometres across the country, due to the town’s previous efforts to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people.
As the home of Bimbadeen, formerly the Cootamundra Girls Home where children from the Stolen Generation were taken and raised, Cootamundra has special significance to Aboriginal culture.
While they are in Cootamundra, the Recognise team will visit Bimbadeen, providing insight into the accommodation and training of Aboriginal wards of the state in the first half of the 20th century.