A letter to my daughter about Black Lives Matter and racial inequality

Dear Willow, 

I’m writing to you because I want to share some rumblings in my gut that have troubled me.  You are at an age now, where it is time for you to step into a conversation that for us as Australians is long overdue. I have tried to teach you about love, grace and belonging. There is no place like home and I love being with you – growing, learning and playing together. But as you know, we have the spirit of adventure and exploring. Over the years this has led me to spend much of my time amongst Indigenous peoples across Australia, Asia & the Pacific. It has become the focus of my work and labour. In my time partnering and working with Indigenous peoples they have taught me so much about life, love, family and new ways to do business. You, my daughter/my love, have been the recipient of this learning.

At the moment a conversation has emerged around the world and it’s being called ‘Black Lives Matter’. I know you will say, ‘of course mummy, all lives matter’. But this is a particularly important conversation and I’m asking you to pay particular attention. I’m also inviting you to take your seat at this discussion. Our country’s history has been littered with deep injustice and inequalities against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.  This conversation is a response, to say this is not OK and things needs to change.

We have discussed this before, and you know the pain I carry. As a country we have made many steps forward on this issue, but we still have a long road to travel. There is lots of listening to be done and sorries to be said, but most importantly this is a time when you have the opportunity to stand alongside your indigenous brothers and sisters and for us together to imagine our shared future.

I’m really sorry we haven’t been able to move this conversation forward faster and further, so it didn’t need to be your burden. But we are where we are, we have all participated in wrong and need to find a way forward together. There are no quick fixes or silver bullets.  This is an incredibly messy conversation that will require humility, empathy and grace from all. I trust your boldness and adventurous spirit and look forward to your perspective as we move forward.

 

Love and Blessings,

Mum

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