Gariwerd Wimmera Reconciliation Network launches

In the aftermath of the widespread climbing bans in the Grampians/Gariwerd, a new group dubbed the Gariwerd Wimmera Reconciliation Network (GWRN) has formed with the express intent of starting the process of reconciliation with Traditional Owners (TOs). 

According the GWRN’s first press release, it was ‘formed in response to concerns about the relations between Traditional Owners and recreational users of Gariwerd (Grampians National Park) and Djurite (Arapiles-Tooan State Park).’

Claire Evans, a climber, Grampians/Gariwerd resident and spokesperson for the Network, says, ’Recent events in Gariwerd have been the catalyst for the group’s creation, but we quickly realised that this was part of a much bigger conversation that needs to happen in the broader community.’

The Network is not aligned with any other body and the group encourages any climber who is interested in reconciliation with Traditional Owners to show support by following the Gariwerd Wimmera Reconciliation Network Facebook page.

The Network has started initial conversation with three local Traditional Owner groups. Again, according to their press release, ‘The Network has identified a critical need to form positive and enduring relationships with Traditional Owners of Gariwerd and Djurite. Conversations between the Network and representatives of Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, Barengi Gadjin Land Council and Gunditj Mirring Aboriginal Corporation have reinforced the need for this to happen.’

According to  Michael Stewart, CEO of Barengi Gadjin Land Councils, ‘The Network first started the conversation by asking us how we would like to be engaged, something that doesn’t happen enough. BGLC looks forward to continuing discussions with The Network to build a strong and respectful relationship.’

Another local climber, Keiran Loughran, says of the Network’s aims, ‘We need to listen, learn and acknowledge the harm done. Recognition of the impacts of our actions as a community is crucial to this process.’

Claire Evans says, ‘It’s time to change the narrative. Working towards a shared future requires a focus on building relationships based on respect and understanding. Without this we are only causing further hurt. This journey to reconcile needs patience and respect and is not defined by a single issue or agenda.’

If you’d like to understand the process of reconciliation better, we’ve written something in the past about what this may look like here.

 

Full press release text

Reconciliation group forms to promote respectful relationships in Grampians and Wimmera regions  

A new group, the Gariwerd Wimmera Reconciliation Network has formed in response to concerns about the relations between Traditional Owners and recreational users of Gariwerd (Grampians National Park) and Djurite (Arapiles-Tooan State Park). In June this year concerned climbers from across Victoria came together upon realising that the critical conversation with the Traditional Owners was not under way.

“Recent events in Gariwerd have been the catalyst for the group’s creation, but we quickly realised that this was part of a much bigger conversation that needs to happen in the broader community,” said Claire Evans, Grampians resident and spokesperson for the group.

Since the access changes in the Grampians National Park were announced by Parks Victoria in response to concerns about damage to Cultural Heritage and ecological values, the climbing community has struggled to find an appropriate way to respond.

The Network has identified a critical need to form positive and enduring relationships with Traditional Owners of Gariwerd and Djurite. Conversations between the Network and representatives of Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, Barengi Gadjin Land Council and Gunditj Mirring Aboriginal Corporation have reinforced the need for this to happen.

“The Network first started the conversation by asking us how we would like to be engaged, something that doesn’t happen enough. BGLC looks forward to continuing discussions with The Network to build a strong and respectful relationship” said Michael Stewart, CEO of Barengi Gadjin Land Council.

“We need to listen, learn and acknowledge the harm done. Recognition of the impacts of our actions as a community is crucial to this process,” said Kieran Loughran, long time Natimuk resident and rock climber.

“It’s time to change the narrative. Working towards a shared future requires a focus on building relationships based on respect and understanding. Without this we are only causing further hurt. This journey to reconcile needs patience and respect and is not defined by a single issue or agenda,” said Ms Evans.

To find out more and share the journey, visit the Gariwerd Wimmera Reconciliation Network facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/gwrn.org.au).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ukuZic

Please type the text above:

To download your free edition of Vertical Life Mag, please login to your account or create a new account by submitting your details below.

Sign Up

*

*

*

*

*

Lost your password?