The Dungala Kaiela Oration is an annual event on Yorta Yorta country co-hosted by the Kaiela Institute and the University of Melbourne. The Oration was conducted at the Rumbalara Football-Netball Club on the 24th of August 2018. The oration gives prominent leaders and thinkers a platform to discuss contemporary issues relevant to the Goulburn Murray region. The 2018 oration, At home on country, at home in the world, was delivered by Māori lawyer and social justice advocate Dr Moana Jackson.
Dr Jackson’s oration discussed the notion of treaty, a word originating from the Latin tractatus, which refers to the act of bringing people together. New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs, produced many challenges for Māori peoples, challenges Dr Jackson says, “Indigenous peoples have never turned away from”.
Dr Jackson’s thoughts came at a significant time for his audience, following the passing of the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018. The Bill enables Aboriginal Victorians to enter into formal treaty negotiations with the Victorian state government. Earlier in the evening, the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner, Jill Gallagher AO, was invited to remark on the Victorian treaty and the various forms it could take.
Indigenous cultures are the longest living in the world, proving their ability to be adaptable and innovative when faced with various problems, such as environmental disasters. Indigenous peoples have responded with courage and strength to their most brutal challenge: colonisation. Indigenous cultures continue to thrive, as Dr Jackson stresses, “adaptation never meant submission”.
About the Oration
The 2018 Dungala Kaiela Oration was co-hosted by the University of Melbourne’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis AC and the Kaiela Institute’s executive director Mr Paul Briggs OAM, who established the oration together in 2008. This year was Professor Davis’ final oration as co-host, which Mr Briggs reflected on during his opening remarks, noting their friendship and the ongoing success of the annual oration event.
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