By Steve Hughes, Operations Manager — Rotary Wing — Eastern 

Warami! Welcome!

Australia Day provides an opportunity to reflect on how CareFlight’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is not only our organisation’s, but our people’s as well. It is our way of proactively bridging the divide that unfortunately developed since white settlement.

To some, January 26 represents an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate our nation’s achievements and developments over the past 233 years. To others, it rekindles past traumas – generational traumas – leaving little to rejoice.

From a New South Wales perspective, early settlement destroyed so much culture and language. Families were divided and communities lost due to unintentionally introduced diseases as well as an early colonial desire to displace, and in some cases eradicate, the original inhabitants. New South Wales people with First Nations heritage have been largely displaced from their nura (country) and dalang (tongue – language) with much work being done to rebuild this lost history.

Our current generation cannot be held accountable for the past wrongs, but we can work to understand and acknowledge this pain. I encourage empathy for the deeply entrenched losses experienced by our First Nations babana (brothers) and djurumin (sisters).

We are all proud of our Country regardless of our backgrounds.

Didjarigura yanu! Thanks and bye!

This written piece uses Dharug Dalang, the Sydney region Aboriginal language. Steve is a proud Cabrogal man.