‘Come Together’ for truth-telling
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‘Come Together’ for truth-telling

'We have a shared story of trauma and survival, and I felt like I was among people who, on a deeper level, understood me.'

  • Susan Moylan-Coombs shared her story at the first 'Come Together' event in Sydney. Photo: Supplied
    Susan Moylan-Coombs shared her story at the first 'Come Together' event in Sydney. Photo: Supplied

A new program designed to bring the voices of First Nations people into Jewish homes was launched in Sydney last weekend.

“Come Together” is the brainchild of Stand Up and is a program created in response to calls for truth-telling in the Uluru Statement of the Heart. Facilitated in partnership with First Nations organisations, including The Gaimaragal Group in Sydney, the aim is to share the voices, cultures and histories of First Nations people with the Jewish community.

While “Come Together” has successfully been running in Melbourne for over a year, NSW had its official launch event on Sunday where The Gaimaragal Group’s founding director Susan Moylan-Coombs shared her remarkable story. Moylan-Coombs’ ancestry is Woolwonga and Gurindji from the Northern Territory and she is part of the group known as the Stolen Generations.

“It felt so nice to be invited into someone’s home to speak to their family and friends,” Moylan-Coombs said.

“We have a shared story of trauma and survival, and I felt like I was among people who, on a deeper level, understood me. The Gaimaragal Group is excited to partner with Stand Up, with regards to bringing individuals, families, friends and colleagues together. When we can all deeply listen to understand the perspectives of First Nations people of this land, we can create a greater understanding of truth.

“This is ultimately about all of us.”

General manager of Stand Up Speedy Shatari hopes the program will create strong ties between Jewish and First Nations communities.

“Our success at the JCA 10×10 event showed there is a strong interest within the community to engage with conversations around First Nations justice and tikkun olam,” Shatari said.

“On Sunday evening I watched as our community ‘let down their shield’ and welcomed the idea of a better and richer Australia; one where First Nations cultures are acknowledged, celebrated and woven into our everyday lives. You could see that Susan’s story had a great impact on all 15 attendees as they started to think about their own Jewish identities, history and responsibility,” Shatari said.

“Through this program, we hope to build the capacity of the Jewish community to act as allies on the path towards reconciliation.”

This event was also attended by leading community organisations including JCA, The AJN, Australian Jewish Funders, 10×10 Philanthropy, as well as Michael Pollak, who founded the Tikkun Giving Circle and generously hosted the launch event.

Interested in being involved? Visit: standup.org.au/come_together

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