Freedom ride to reconciliation

Event. Locals are invited to be part of history in attending the launch of the Reconciliation Council of Tasmania.

A free bus will leave Smithton on the morning of the launch to transport community members to the Hobart event.

After recognising the First Tasmanians in the Tasmanian Constitution late last year, the state is now forming the Reconciliation Council of Tasmania.

The aim of the council is to have an active state reconciliation body, which works solely for a closer and more trusting relationship between all Tasmanians by working collaboratively with a number of stakeholders, including state government, local government, the private sector and community groups with an interest in the Indigenous sector.

Tasmanian Governor Kate Warner will launch this historic event alongside Premier Will Hodgman.

The bus is being organised by retired engineer Bill Lawson AM, who has worked throughout Australia in Indigenous communities since 2000. In 2011, he was appointed by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard as the sole Tasmanian on her Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians. In 2015, he took over Fred Chaney’s seat on the Board of Reconciliation Australia becoming the first Tasmanian to be a director of the organisation.

“It seems to me that we are in the midst of growing interest in and support for Indigenous matters,” he said.

“I have the strong sense that something special may be happening towards true reconciliation. I urge my fellow Tasmanians to embrace and engage in reconciliation with our First Peoples.”

The launch is being held at Macquarie Point Goods Shed on Wednesday August 9, the annual United Nations’ Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

One of three Reconciliation Ride buses will depart Smithton at 6.30am and travel via the Bass Highway to Perth then the Midland Highway to Hobart. All buses will make short refreshment and comfort stops to suit passengers and will arrive in Hobart in time for the 1pm launch, and depart at 2.30pm to return via the same route.

To book your seat, phone Yabbo Thompson on 0419 325 190 or email talvin@bigpond.net.au.

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