Hearing their voices

Hearing their voices

Those who attended the latest Discipleship Under the Southern Cross (DUSC) event, “Hear Their Voice”, under the auspices of the Tenison Woods Education Centre (TWEC) were invited to view a series of stunning works by Year 9 Art students from St Joseph’s Campus, Lochinvar. MC Rick McCosker enjoined his audience to “Look at them with our hearts.”



The art works formed a fitting backdrop to the event, which brought together three Indigenous speakers:
David Newham, an Aboriginal educator, currently BHP Billiton’s advisor for Aboriginal Programs and a Novocastrian;
Toni Manton, who works in physical and mental health at the Awabakal Health Centre at Broadmeadow;
David Peachey, former NRL and International player, who, through the David Peachey Foundation, is working to support Indigenous young people from rural and remote areas to achieve to the best of their ability and overcome obstacles to their success.


Each speaker shared some personal stories and reflected on the paths, both challenging and serendipitous, that led to their current vocation. Common to the stories was a high level of passion and energy and a determination to make a difference to the lives of others, especially Indigenous brothers and sisters.


The importance of culture – song, dance, language – was highlighted in myriad ways, and being mentored so that one could eventually mentor was closely related to understanding and embracing culture.


David Peachey admitted, “My biggest fear was failure” and as the eldest of eight boys, he felt a strong responsibility to be a good example.


He is now building on that desire by taking his mantra – Be smart, stay clean and live the dream – to remote areas of Australia, while maintaining a base in his home town of Dubbo.


Incidentally, Director of Schools Ray Collins was David Peachey’s principal at St John’s Primary, Dubbo, and remembers him as a talented player and a fine young man.


Sr Maureen Salmon RSJ said, “It’s the DUSC Committee’s hope that the evening recognised and honoured the Indigenous Peoples in our area: their unique identity, their hopes, their achievements and their concerns.


“We hope that those who attended the evening will be better prepared for the proposed referendum to recognise Indigenous Peoples in our Australian Constitution when it takes place.” 


Tracey Edstein
Editor, Aurora

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