Faith and reconciliation

I’m really excited to be supporting this year’s National Reconciliation Week. It’s a great opportunity for all Australians to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and learn more about reconciliation.

As General Manager of Indigenous services for Anglicare, I am passionate about celebrating our culture within the Church and am committed to finding pathways to leadership positions for Indigenous people. Anglicare is a wonderful organisation that reaches out to Indigenous communities, no matter where they happen to be!

I’ve always been committed to social justice and working to make a difference. Ministry is such a great way of life and it’s great to see our people begin to take their place as leaders within the Anglican Church. Celebrating our heritage has played a huge role in making the Church a place where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are welcomed and supported.

This National Reconciliation Week theme is Let’s talk recognition’ and the week also focuses on how food can bring people together. Food is important to many cultures around the world, and is especially important to our people. As a Minister I’ve seen how food can bring people together, so I’m encouraging everyone to get together over a BBQ or morning tea and talk about recognition.

I believe that ministering and servicing our community is not just up to Aboriginal people, it’s up to all of us. Reconciliation really is everyone’s business.

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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