I'm so grateful 2021 has started!   Whilst 2020 taught us a lot, it was a tough year for many.  However, we did learn to be resilient, resourceful, patient and grateful.  The past year showed us that we truly do live in the lucky country and when the universe decides to throw curveballs, we can catch them and turn them into opportunities.  The AILC seized many opportunities in 2020, putting us in a great position as we move forward into 2021. 

This year we celebrate our 20th year and what a celebration it will be!  We are planning many events across the country both online and face to face and we hope that you will join us where you can.  Make sure you follow us on social media, and share with your friends, so that you’ll be up to date with all that we have planned.

I’m sure that many of you are watching what is happening across the world as the pandemic continues to take the UK hostage and lives continue to be lost right across the world.  As we see all this unfold we have also witnessed history in the making. In January we watched the Inauguration of the United States 46th  President Jo Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris the 49th Vice President.  She is not only the first female Vice President but the first of African American and Asian heritage. 

In Ms Harris' victory speech on 8 November 2020 she reflected on the many woman that came before her Black, Asian, White, Latina, Native American saying that “Tonight, I reflect on their struggle, their determination and their strength of their vision – to see what can be, unburdened by what has been. I stand on their shoulders”.  She is now paving the way for other women to follow.  Let’s hope that we too can see an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person leading the Australian Parliament in the not too distant future.

Given what is happening both here and abroad it is fitting that the NAIDOC theme for 2021 has been announced “Heal our Country”.  This theme is a call to action for all of us.  It calls for us to seek protection for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage.  To us our country is sacred.  It is part of our lives and links to our spirituality - connecting us emotionally and culturally. I look forward to seeing what we all can achieve in 2021.

As we leave behind 2020 and start our 2021 journey I am reminded of a quote from the New York Times Blogger Mandy Hale who said, “Whatever happened over the past year, be thankful for where it brought you.  Where you are is where you’re meant to be.”

Best wishes - Robyn Forester

* IMAGE: Rohan Thompson