STORY - Gari Yala
Story: Gari Yala (Speak the Truth)
Artist: Lani Balzan
This painting represents a timeline of country: our motherland and the layers that represent it before colonisation, the change when colonisation happened, the present and the future.
The outside represents the beginning before colonisation where our culture remained untouched and our country remained sacred. Moving inwards to the next layer, this represents when colonisation happened and the alteration to the land and our people from this. The next layer represents the present, the fight we face for change, the importance of a Treaty, and voices coming together. The middle represents the future; it is the change we so deeply desire, the acknowledgement that we deserve and truth of our people and our culture.
Our people have been on this land for more than 65,000 years. There needs to be an understanding of country and of our people who are the oldest continuing culture on this planet. This is the only way to move forward for our future of this country.
Remembering that we are a multi-cultural Aboriginal country in 2019, we come from all different walks of life and all different decent lines as do I. Aboriginal people of this land have not always had an untold or untrue history voiced. Our voices have not always been completely heard and this is continuing to happen. The true story of colonisation must be told, must be heard, and must be acknowledged!
The present: we are up in arms, we are fighting for country and still fight to be heard. Our voices are important! Without our voices, things cannot change for the future.
The future is to have our voices heard to have sovereignty, a Treaty to our land. To come together and to understand the importance of our culture. Our culture is not something just for Aboriginal people to be proud of, but for all Australians to embrace the culture and our land we all live on.