Symposium report highlights power of truth-telling

In October 2018, Reconciliation Australia and The Healing Foundation brought together experts from around the country for a Truth Telling Symposium. The findings, reflections, and recommendations from the Symposium have now been gathered in a new report on truth-telling in Australia.

The aim of the Truth Telling Symposium was to investigate, foster, and share ways truth-telling can support healing and reconciliation in Australia, focusing on:

  • the importance of truth-telling
  • truths that need to be told
  • different truth-telling practices that might be applicable to Australia
  • guiding principles for future truth-telling processes.

Participants shared knowledge and experiences of truth-telling, developing a fuller understanding of what truth-telling ought to look like in the Australian context, and how individuals and communities can safely and respectfully explore truth-telling initiatives.

Delegates discussed the current environment, identified opportunities to progress truth-telling and engage different stakeholders, and explored opportunities for ongoing work, engagement, and collaboration.

To learn more about truth-telling, the findings of the Symposium, and how they may be applied in the Australian context, read the Truth Telling Symposium Report.

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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