With Reconciliation Week 2021 coming to a close we sat down with proud Gadigal women and Swim Team member, Annie, to ask what Reconciliation means for her.
Annie has been working across the City of Sydney pools for over 10 years now and is based at Cook + Phillip Park Pool and Gunyama Park these days. Previously she has worked at Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre and Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Pool too.
“I am from the Eora nation, we are the Gadigal people. I grew up in the Inner west and our language is 'Dharug'. I wish I had taken more of an interest into my heritage when I was a child and learnt the language fluently; but being a child, I didn't really care back then.
Reconciliation shows and acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the FIRST peoples of our country. How they were treated is abhorrent, they had their land, homes, culture and humanity stripped from them, all due to the colonisation of Sydney and our country.
When Sydney was invaded back in the day, we were pretty much decimated. But like me there are descendants still living in and around Sydney. Many of my personal relatives moved to the bush to get away from the changes and onslaught.
My father was Aboriginal, he didn't cope very well in large groups of people. When his mob moved to the bush he stayed behind. Eventually over time his spirit just went out. One day he went to the pub, like he did most days, and that was the last we ever saw of him. That was 46 years ago. What I am trying to say is even though the colonisation/invasion of Sydney was hundreds of years ago, it still affected many people culturally years and years later."
Our centre is looking to take action and refocus on our Reconciliation Action Plan to support the national reconciliation movement by developing respectful relationships and creating meaningful opportunities for our First Nations people.