Outward Bound Australia – ‘YES’ Statement of Support
When we, outdoor educators, introduce our participants to outdoor places, we do so in culturally specific ways. The cultures we embrace most enthusiastically are those of the activities we engage in: the camper, the bushwalker, the canoeist, the climber, plus others. We adapt these activity cultures to the places we are in, acknowledging the country as ecosystem, as nature, where these activities occur. But there is more to be done.
Acknowledgement of country means taking a longer look, a more careful look, towards the people whose country this is. While our participants visit these places to undertake their outdoor education journeys, longer journeys continue amongst the people who live here. These longer journeys are those of farmers, growers, rangers and many others. But the longest journeys are those of the Indigenous people whose lives have long been intertwined with these places in cultural and familial ways. These ways have been wrecked and ruined, yet still remain and persevere in families today.
Our challenge is to hear these voices, listen to these cultures, and to seek ways of acknowledging their existence and importance in our relationships, in our work, in our programs. To do this, better means for speaking and listening must be achieved, both locally and nationally. The Indigenous Voice to Parliament is an initiative that supports positive change in this direction, at the most basic governance level, the Australian Constitution. That is why Outward Bound Australia supports voting YES. We accept the invitation issued in the Uluru Statement to walk with our First Nations people in a movement of the Australian people for a better future. Outward Bound Australia respects diversity and inclusion in all forms.