ON BEING A GOONDEEN

In the heritage of Indigenous Australians a GOONDEEN is ‘ a father figure; a very wise, smart and respected person, a clever fella who shares his life with others and cares for all.

Let me tell you a story that began in 2016 when I accepted with humility an invitation to become GOONDEEN EVERALD.

A respected friend of mine is Bill Synnot, as fine a citizen as I have come across, who has had a successful career as in Change Management. He decided to organise and finance the publication of a book called ‘Goondeen’ and establish the Goondeen Institute which would promote the spirit of Goondeen.

The first decision of the Goondeen Institute was to appoint three modern Goondeens.

*UNCLE ALBERT HOLT, a distinguished Indigenous Elder from Cherbourg in Queensland.

*HENRY PALASZCZUK, a migrant from war torn Europe who became a Member and Minister of the Queensland Parliament and whose daughter, Annastacia, is Premier.

*Me, a young lad from the bush who has tried to make a difference.

Bill then appointed an author, Sophie Church, to write the book, and Andrew Schulz, organiser of the Year of the Outback, to become the advocate of the project.

Many working lunches followed in Bill’s office where the six of us discussed many aspects of our lives and our work and our vision of Australia as a caring and sharing nation.

The book was launched in 2017 at Old Government House at the Queensland University of Technology by Annastacia and it has sold well, to the extent that there is now a Chinese translation of it which helps mould a better understanding of Australia by China.

Bill then had the book adapted as an educational resource for use in Primary Schools and now more than 50 schools are using it. Some are taking it very seriously by implementing a study program. On completion the students become GOONDEEN GUARDIANS, after making a commitment to live as sharers and carers in helping to create a cohesive society.

So it is that yesterday I was invited to the Springfield Central State School to individually declare 22 students to be GOONDEEN GUARDIANS and make a graduation address by giving examples of people who showed us how much more we can achieve in our vocations if we work in teams rather than as loners and how life reaches the highest level of quality where we daily share and care.

So, you can see me above doing my bit in bonding with my fellow Goondeens at Springfield (and their parents and teachers).

Actually, I could show you more photos, especially one of the GOONDEEN GARDEN that the students have created with an splendid indigenous mural containing sketches of Albert, Henry and me.

So, why am I telling you this.

I am proud to be involved in a movement where all who belong to it are creating caring and sharing communities in which they dont just talk about it, they become personally involved.

My day ended on a high note, when one of the new GOONDEEN GUARDIANS (female) said to me,

‘Are you indigenous?’

(I am very much a white man, so here is the subsequent conversation)

‘What makes you think I am indigenous?’

‘You tell wonderful stories and indigenous people are great story tellers.’

‘I have no indigenous ancestors, but I am spiritually indigenous as every one of us is an Australian.’

‘So am I and I hope that I will grow up to be like you and be able to tell great stories about it.’

‘I am sure you will do better than I have.’

Over and out,

A proud GOONDEEN,

Everald

If you would like to learn more, go to

Resources

How we have failed to build a balanced nation – disasters & solutions

Just imagine for a moment that you are standing on Possession Island in Torres Strait with Captain James Cook on August 22, 1770, while the good captain makes his declaration that the Australian Continent is a territory of the King of England.

He calls you aside and asks you to prepare him a report on what quality of nation Australia should be 250 years hence, as he expects His Majesty to ask him about it when he gets back home.

Let us also assume for the purpose of this exercise that you are a person of extraordinary intellect who has the capacity at that time to perceive what the world will be like in the 21st century.

It will be safe for us to presume that you would not imagine an Australia that would the planning disaster it now is.

Would you have suggested that these unimaginable disasters may eventuate? Continue reading “How we have failed to build a balanced nation – disasters & solutions”

The Commonwealth of The South Pacific

Creating a Union of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands

In the 1890s, when the Federation of Australian States was being fervently debated, there were seven negotiating parties at the table — five States on the Continent, plus Tasmania and New Zealand.

Just before referendums were held to determine whether the grand venture would go ahead, New Zealand withdrew. Their stated reason was that Australia was experiencing a major economic recession brought on by the bank collapses of 1893, combined with the worst drought of the century. New Zealand had avoided both of those disasters and was motivated to take the short term view that it would be wise to pull out. In hindsight, it was a bad decision.

So, Federation proceeded without them. Yet, the provision remains in the Constitution for them to change their minds at some time — but it is an option that has never been taken up. Continue reading “The Commonwealth of The South Pacific”