In February 2016 Kids First launched our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). As an agency committed to meaningful reconciliation, and importantly one that works with Aboriginal families whilst striving to build our cross-cultural competency and practice, we are proud of the enthusiasm of our staff and progress as an organisation.
Critical to the development of the plan and obtaining approval from Reconciliation Australia was the input and guidance from three Aboriginal Elders; Uncle Herb Patten, Aunty Lorraine Patten (dec.) and Aunty Georgina Williams.
From the first RAP Committee meeting Aunty attended her strength, passion and compassion burned bright. She continues to guide us as we develop our second Innovate RAP to take us further forward.
This year's NAIDOC Week theme is 'Because of Her We Can', celebrating the strength, resilience and achievements of Aboriginal women. Kids First is fortunate to have Aunty Georgina's assistance on our path to reconciliation. We thought it timely to share with our supporters the story of Aunty Georgina's influential life.
Aunty Georgina was born in Carlton, 1943. She is a Gunditjmara woman and has dedicated her life to fighting for land rights, social justice and for the welfare of Aboriginal people.
Her active interest in Aboriginal issues from an early age was inspired by meetings at home organised by grandfather Ebon Lovett and other Elders. “Involved in too many areas and committees to name,” Georgina is motivated by her concern for the impact on young Aboriginal children caused by the breakdown of traditional family roles. In the 1980s Aunty Georgia spearheaded talks between the Gunditjmara and State and Federal government to advocate for the return of traditional lands in Lake Condah area. Georgina played an instrumental role in the negotiations which yielded a successful result.
A proud mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Georgina cites ‘consistency’ and a ‘never give up’ attitude on just causes as her best attributes. One her children were at school, Georgina set out to do a social worker degree. Georgina’s social work qualifications and her ‘no nonsense’, ‘get things done attitude’ led to jobs and advisory roles with many Aboriginal welfare organisations where she was able to continue to advocate for rights of the community.
She has worked with Brotherhood of St Laurence Aboriginal Advisory, Weeroona (Aboriginal) Cemetery, Gunditj Mirring (traditional lands of south west Victoria), Deakin University Elders and Respected Persons Council (Geelong campus), Melbourne Koori Children and Adult Courts and previously on committees concerned with Aboriginal housing, health and childcare.
In 2015, Aunty Georgina was inducted into the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll in recognition of her leadership and campaign work within the Aboriginal Community.
Aunty Georgina continues to achieve gains for her people through determination and persistence. This video made in 2015 outlines Aunty Georgina’s contributions that led to her being inducted into the Honour Roll.