Despite cold, rainy weather about 130 people turned out at the Creeklands for the Armidale Bridge Walk last weekend.
They walked the circuit over Stephen’s Bridge, listen to speakers Callum Clayton-Dixon and Cynthia Briggs and be entertained by the Duval High School dancers and the singing of Rose Quinlan and the Bridge Span group.
Mr Clayton-Dixon spoke about his own conflicted feelings about reconciliation.
For him he said it meant, first of all, recognising the way things were before 1788, which he said was the essential relationship between the people and the land. He invited support for the Anaiwan Language Revival with which he is involved and invited those present to contribute to this project.
Ms Briggs spoke about the need for Reconciliation to be focused on at a local level with recognition of the huge challenges in health, education and social equality.
She reminded us that the local community had stepped up in the past with the provision of housing in the 1960s and more recently the establishment of the Pat Dixon Medical Centre.
She urged people to find local solutions for local problems.
This year, which marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and 25th of Mabo, was a special one for the annual walk, which was first held in Armidale seven years ago.
Dugan (Steve Widders) had welcomed everyone and Birabun (Christian Page) and his nephew JayJay Roberts shared stories and played the didgeridoo. The assistance of Homes North was a welcome initiative running the barbecue and supplying food and drink.
ANTaR acknowledged valued support from the Armidale Regional Council with special thanks to Jane Guilfoyle and Cyril Green.