Truth-telling on our RAP journey
A reflection by Cath Brokenborough, Executive Lead First Nations Engagement, Lendlease
Songlines are the bones of this ancient land.
They define Country and Place and underpin our sense of Belonging.
They are the foundation of our culture: past, present and future.
They keep our people safe, smart and strong.
They keep our land, sea and waters healthy, harmonious, and bountiful.
Songlines are the basis of our lore and law that has nurtured us for more than 65,000 years. Colonisation and the subsequent settlement of Australia disrupted, but never destroyed our Songlines. Although our people have been torn apart from our families, countries, languages and practices, whilst ever our voices and Songlines exist, our heritage, knowledge and customs survive.
If we are given the recognition we deserve as the First Nations people of this land; if the Australian people will partner with us in fair and equal relationship; if we are given a public voice to speak the truth of our existence with you; if we are permitted to participate in making decisions about matters that directly affect our rights; then our people can be healed and reconnected and will again be strong and proud.
If you are prepared to walk with us to create a better, shared future, where all lives are valued equally, then you will truly come to understand and value the potency of our unified cultures and perspectives.
You too will become part of the Songlines of this country, which are our ultimate, unique legacy to the Australian people.
I believe this RAP challenges us to work with First Nations people to celebrate, strengthen and share the Songlines of this nation.
As a Property company, Lendlease is learning that it has played an unwitting part in the historical dispossession of First Nations people and the disruption of Songlines by changing the nature, structure and use of the land and waters.
Conversely, Lendlease also has a unique opportunity to incorporate the knowledge, talent and wisdom of First Nations people in development of the built environment.
First Nations thought leadership and guidance brings a unique community perspective that reveals Australia’s ancient Songlines and enables Lendlease to elevate the work they do.