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COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS: NAIDOC WEEK 2021

Quay is honouring where we came from.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present, and emerging.

NAIDOC Week is a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of the First Nations people. This year's theme is a call to recognise, protect, and maintain their heritage. We talked to Rona Ngamperle Glynn-Mcdonald, founder of Common Ground. This First Nations-led not-for-profit works to amplify the knowledge, cultures and stories of the First Nations people.

NAIDOC WEEK 2021

Q: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR STORY?

A: I am a proud Kaytetye woman from Central Australia. My work focuses on creating spaces for First Nations People centred on storytelling. Since finishing high school in 2013, I have worked across the not-for-profit sector with First Nations and non-Indigenous organisations. I've also founded a not-for-profit called Common Ground and a First Nations consulting practice at YLab.

Q: HOW DID YOU COME TO START COMMON GROUND?

A: Growing up in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), I saw how the colonial systems we live within impacted (and continue to impact) my community in unique and dangerous ways. After attending university, I began to realise the extent to which colonialism permeates all areas of our society, perpetuated by the narratives we've been sharing as a nation since colonisation. As a result, I founded Common Ground in 2018 to create spaces where First Nations individuals and communities could share their perspectives, voices and knowledge.

Q: WHAT DOES NAIDOC WEEK MEAN TO YOU?

A: For me, it's a week to reflect and celebrate the achievements and resilience of First Nations People and communities. I walk with a deep listening of the voices of my Ancestors and leaders in my community every day. So having a week dedicated to honouring them while giving space to appreciate the richness and strength of our communities is always special.

Q: WHY IS STORYTELLING IMPORTANT?

A: First Nations people are the original storytellers—inherent to First Nations storytelling is truth-telling. Both are at the centre of Country, Law, culture and language. It's how we organise knowledge and how we continue to pass on this knowledge for the generations to come. It's what keeps our communities strong.

TO MAKE SURE THESE STORIES LIVE ON

We donated $20,000 AUD to Common Ground—a First Nations-led not-for-profit that works to amplify the knowledge, cultures and stories of the First Nations people

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