Peace Day service from the heart

Cabramatta High School celebrated Peace Day by hearing from the leaders of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Pascal Adolphe reports.

Image: Members of the Uluru Statement of the Heart Dialogue: Bridget Cama, left, and Allira Davis, right, with Cabramatta High students Jai Shepherd, Year 11, and Natasha Morrison, Year 7.

On the day the world commemorated peace breaking out after World War I, Cabramatta High School hosted its Peace Day celebration focusing on the Uluru Statement from The Heart, the winner of the 2022 Sydney Peace Prize.

The Uluru Statement is now a Federal Government priority to give First Nations people a Voice to Parliament.

The leaders of the Uluru Statement took centre stage on a day that featured smoking ceremonies, cultural dance performances and a release of doves, witnessed by student and staff representatives from 40 schools.

Co-Leader of the Uluru Dialogue, Pat Anderson, said Australia had a unique opportunity to unify our culturally diverse nation. The referendum on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament “will change the face of Australia”, she said.

“The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation to the Australian people: to you, your families, and the Government to reimagine what we could be and should be as a nation,” Ms Anderson said.

“When you get to the ballot box, it’s you and your conscience; history is calling and it’s time.”

Cabramatta High School Principal Lachlan Erskine said Peace Day was a “special day on our calendar”.

“I am a proud principal of Cabramatta High School and today shows how we celebrate diversity and how we value each other’s culture,” Mr Erskine said.

“Now we have a map, a way forward in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We can seek a better future together. A map for the psyche, for healing, and for us to work together to achieve a better country where we are healing together; truth-telling in a country where all people are truly valued.”

Executive Director, Metropolitan South and West School Performance Directorate, Deb Summerhayes reminded the crowd that Aboriginal education was “everybody’s business”.

“It’s important to share the history and culture of First Nations people,” she said. “The Uluru Statement from the Heart is about telling truth and a way for a better future for our country.”

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