Dreamtime at the G 2012

Tonight I want you to think about this. I believe we in football are sitting at an historical pivot point. People like Michael Long and Nathan Lovett-Murray show us that one man can change many. Programs like Clontarf show us that we can bring on this change in great numbers.

Every AFL team is now engaged with Indigenous Australia in helping to improve lives. Like Essendon, Richmond Football Club has committed to supporting reconciliation in

Australia by launching the Maurice Rioli Reconciliation Action Plan and continues to invest and commit to Indigenous programs through the club’s Korin Gamadji Institute for Education and Leadership.

But we must not get complacent. Having finally recognised what footy can do for our Indigenous brothers and sisters let’s harness the connection for all it’s worth.

That means being brave enough to honestly talk through the difficulties. And it means being wildly imaginative in letting footy carve new pathways to true reconciliation and equality.

This night is one to cherish. It’s a night to pay tribute to the trailblazers who had the dream and turned it into a permanent and much-loved part of our fixture.

Excerpt from Essendon FC Chairman David Evans’ address at the 2012 Dreamtime at the G match between Essendon FC & Richmond FC

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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