Who and where are the first Community Wealth Builders?
Paying our respects to elders, past, present and emerging helps us plumb ourselves into our colonial experience as non-indigenous Australians. At Ethical Fields we come from many lands, and we all have settler heritage in the Australian context. How we pay attention to the story of what it means to live on the land of the kangaroo under the emu in the sky guides our thinking and practice. We continue to lean into the first experiences of community wealth building of First Nations to understand how we can live more sustainably and in harmony with the land, sea and other species. We know we have a lot to learn!
We support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the recommendation for a Makarrata and a voice to parliament. We know from our work that privileging voice and place is intrinsic to the success of any initiative. Listening to all the voices requires us to often go outside of our comfort zones, to hear things we might not understand or go beyond the usual suspects. The benefits though of doing this percolate into projects, results and enable decisions to be sustainable and reap rewards for communities.
We are, sometimes, clumsily learning to understand that our privilege and ignorance of colonisation, its first contact, and ongoing impact, are contributors to perpetuating injustices. We appreciate those who are helping us along the way develop our skills and appreciation. Our current Regional and Economic Development program is uncovering strengths and new learnings to factor in more deeply First Nations, as part of the transformation of perspectives and thinking about regional and economic development.
We look forward to sharing some of these learnings in the month’s ahead as we collaborate with and create a supportive network of practitioners.
Written by Moira Were AM