The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies hosted a lunch last Thursday to mark NAIDOC Week with guest speaker Susan Moylan-Coombs, founding director of the Gaimaragal Group.
Born in the Northern Territory with Woolwonga and Gurindji ancestry, Moylan-Coombs was part of the Stolen Generation. She is a former ABC executive producer and head of production at NITV, and speaks to organisations and communities about her story and the stories of her people.
“It is good to spend time with the Jewish community to speak about things that are important to us as First Nations Peoples of this land, to create a better understanding of how we can move forward, healing the traumas of the past and find some sense of peace and wellbeing for our future,” she said.
“We have shared lived experience with Jewish people, given the attempts of genocide through the practices of previous Australian governments to remove children and breed out our identity and culture.”
She said now “is a critical time in the history of this continent, recognising there is a long story, our ancient story of being connected to our homelands, the First Nations of this land and how the disruption of the British invasion changed things”.
“The story of today is what we do collectively as Australians to heal this country and the original people, so we can heal,” she said.
“For others it is more than reconciliation, it is about seeking redemption for past deeds. And our future story is yet to be written. We have an opportunity to write that story, weaving all the threads of all our narratives together.
“How can we settle the past to co-create a different future? It will require different conversation, government putting down their instruments and people being human in their approach towards each other.”