UOW lecturer reflects on 20-year anniversary of reconciliation bridge walk
Summer May Finlay joins Ken Wyatt, Linda Burney and Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine to reflect on the bridge walks of 2000
It’s been 20 years since around 250,000 people walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in support of reconciliation. It was the largest political demonstration in Australia’s history.
And while progress has been made since that historic day in 2000, University of Wollongong (UOW) lecturer Summer May Finlay says much more needs to be done.
“Reconciliation is an ongoing process. Over the past 20 years there has been progress, however there is a long way to go,” she said.
It was this progress that Ms Finlay discussed on Thursday 28 May as part of a Reconciliation Australia panel discussion to reflect on the bridge walks of 2000 and the role of reconciliation since then.
Ms Finlay was joined on the panel by the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, the Hon Linda Burney MP and Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine. The discussion was hosted by Larissa Behrendt on ABC Radio National program Speaking Out.
Ms Finlay says the disregard many politicians and some Australians have had towards the Uluru Statement show Australia isn’t ready for the changes she believes it needs.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are only three per cent of the population. We need the other 97 percent to have a hard look at themselves to consider how to contribute to eliminating the ongoing oppression and discrimination of our mob,” she said.
“If the 97 percent did the heavy lifting regarding reconciliation, we’d see significant progress.”
Ms Finlay is a Yorta Yorta woman, lecturer in the UOW School of Health and Society, writer and public health consultant. She has worked in a number of different areas relating to Aboriginal health and social justice.