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First Nations Forum set for March – tickets now available

A community forum bringing together the voices of First Nations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) people with a strong focus on fostering relationships, representation and future wellbeing will be a first for the Sunshine Coast and be held at Novotel Twin Waters on Monday 22 March.

Sunshine Coast Council is facilitating the event with a forum and dinner, titled First Nations Self-Determination, Representation and Wellbeing, and guest speakers include Kabi Kabi and Jinibara Traditional Custodians, UQ Adjunct Associate Professor and Kombumerri person Dr Mary Graham and Statement from the Heart Working Group First Nations Chair Suzanne Thompson.

Ms Thompson said the release of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2017 was a defining moment in Australia that had a profound effect.

“I challenge us all to relearn our customs and reconnect our song lines as our ancestors did governing this country under one lore for the many millennia before us,” Ms Thompson said. 

Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said the forum was an opportunity to forward plan while recognising the needs and trauma experienced by generations of First Nations people.

“Our Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041 recognises the need to foster inclusive communities which includes ensuring all Traditional Owners and First Nations Peoples are valued and respected,” Cr Law said.

“This forum brings First Nations people together, explores best practice, case studies and will help to develop the tools required to go forward using a strengths-based approach.”

The forum will be hosted by Tegan Schefe – Sunshine Coast Community Strategy Leadership Group; Indigenous Engagement & Suicide Prevention – Thompson Institute; and includes a traditional welcome, entertainment, presentations by Traditional Custodians, expert speakers, cultural activities and breakout feedback and consultation sessions.

Forum themes include history, traditional governance, voice, representation, human rights, justice, contemporary governance, knowledge, authority, dispute resolution, income/reparations, truth/witnessing, healing/trust and identity.

The dinner will be hosted by David Williams, Executive Director/Founder of Gilimbaa, and includes a traditional welcome, entertainment, three-course meal and drinks, keynote address and panel Q&A, where panel members share their opinions to start the conversation about moving forward as a community.

The evening function themes include a trauma-informed approach, moving forward as a community, culture, healing/trust, truth telling and justice.

Tickets start from $29 and can be purchased at Eventbrite.com.au and search for “First Nations Self Determination”.

This forum is held in partnership with The Healing Foundation and PHN.

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