The intersection between ancient cultures was at the heart of a trailblazing paper by two SSI staff members at one of Australia’s leading multicultural conferences last week.
Nicole (left) and Juliana (centre) in cultural dress and Kathy (right) at the FECCA Conference 2019.
At the 2019 FECCA Conference, First Nation women Juliana Nkrumah AM and Nicole Laupepa presented their paper ‘Recognising Makarrata through Sankofa’, which proposes the idea of realising makarrata (an Indigenous term for coming together after struggle) through sankofa (a word from the Twi language of Ghana that symbolises reflecting on the past to build a successful future).
Nicole and Juliana highlighted the deep spiritual and cultural connection between indigenous people from countries around the world and how these connections can be harnessed to assist the achievement of healing from cultural trauma and enhanced belonging. They also shared examples of work SSI staff are undertaking to foster this connection between new arrivals and our Indigenous communities.
Nicole said she was impressed that FECCA chose to walk side by side with indigenous Australians and acknowledge the value they present to broader multicultural Australia.
“I feel proud to be an Aboriginal woman that I am part of welcoming and the healing process of newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers coming to our lands.”
The conference saw over 500 delegates from all over Australia come together to share their lived experience and professional and academic knowledge to shape multicultural Australia into the future.
A core focus of the conference was leading the conversation on building an alliance between multicultural Australians and Australia’s First Nations Peoples so that together both communities can be stronger and more successful in achieving their goals.
Eleven SSI staff, including CEO Violet Roumeliotis, presented at the event, sharing their professional knowledge on a number of topics including multicultural youth, enhancing community led solutions and the NSW Settlement partnership.
FECCA is the peak, national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. FECCA’s role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.