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Community truth-telling: Report Launch

Community truth-telling: Report Launch

Please join us on Thursday 7 September, as part of Social Sciences Week, for the launch of this ground-breaking new study on community truth-telling.



The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation is proud to launch the new report, ‘Recognising community truth-telling: An exploration of local truth-telling in Australia’. This report is based on a unique collaborative study with Reconciliation Australia documenting grassroots community truth-telling in Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have long called for truth-telling about the colonial past, most recently in the 2017 Uluru Statement. Numerous community projects have emerged to engage with these historical truths. However, few of these initiatives have been documented. The report seeks to highlight this important community work as it provides crucial lessons for how the vision of truth-telling can be realised.

The study demonstrates the immense perseverance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in undertaking truth-telling, often with limited resources and support. This community work has had a significant impact in shifting the national narrative about Australia’s colonial history. However, there is much more work to be done to support truth-telling in Australia. 

This panel discussion will be opened by Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine and will feature speakers from local truth-telling projects who will share their experiences of truth-telling. The discussion will focus on the important lessons we can draw from these grassroots engagements with Australia’s colonial history as the country grapples with how the vision of truth-telling in the Uluru Statement could be realised in a way that meaningfully transforms social and political relations in the country.


Karen Mundine

Karen Mundine is from the Bundjalung Nation of northern NSW and CEO at Reconciliation Australia.. She brings to the role more than 25 years’ experience leading community engagement, public advocacy, communications and social marketing campaigns. An architect of the landmark Australian Reconciliation Barometer, Ms Mundine works with governments, the business sector and civil society to advocate for a just, equitable and reconciled Australia.

Patsy Cameron AO

Aunty Patsy Cameron AO is a highly regarded Elder, author, researcher and cultural historian, who recognises the need for an Aboriginal voice and perspective in the interpretation and communication of Tasmanian Aboriginal history, heritage and culture. She is herself a cultural practitioner of the art of shell necklace making, fibre and kelp craft and a storyteller of note in the community. Her approach is inclusive and evidences a life-long commitment to the progressive engagement of Tasmanians with the deep human history of their island.

Enid Tom

Aunty Enid Tom is a Kaurareg Elder and a director of Kaurareg Native Title Aboriginal Corporation. She has played a pivotal role in a numerous community initiatives, including working with descendants to repatriate the remains of Barbara Thompson, a young British woman who lived with the Kaurareg after being shipwrecked in 1844. She has also been central to the preservation of Kaurareg sacred sites threatened by development and the preservation of the remains of ancestors exposed as a result of climate change on the beaches of Muralug (or Prince of Wales) Island. 

Michael James ‘Widdy’ Welsh

Uncle Michael James ‘Widdy’ Welsh is a proud Wailwan man from Coonamble in the Central Western Plains of New South Wales. He has been a member of the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation since 2009 and is currently the Chairperson of its Board and a member of The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Reference Committee. He is a Stolen Generations survivor who at the age of eight was kidnapped with five siblings from his mother and sent to Kinchela Boys Home where he was identified as number 36. He and other Stolen Generations members are focused on truth telling to ensure these acts of genocide are not forgotten and these policies are never repeated.

Tiffany McComsey

Tiffany McComsey has been the CEO of Kinchela Boys Aboriginal Corporation since 2015. Tiffany completed her PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester in 2012. She examined Aboriginal community development practices in Redfern from 2005 to 2007 and the multigenerational impacts of the policies that created the Stolen Generations. Tiffany is a passionate community advocate and previously volunteered her time on the Board of the National Sorry Day Committee and Executive Committee of Just Reinvest NSW.

Peter Jones

Peter Jones works as a consultant to the out-of-home care sector in NSW to support non-government agencies. He is a long-term resident of Campbelltown NSW and has lived on Dharawal country for most of his life. Over the past 20 years he has worked alongside the Aboriginal community sector in NSW and has been a volunteer with the Winga Myamly Reconciliation Group assisting with the coordination of the annual Appin Massacre Memorial for the past 12 years.


This is an online webinar via Zoom. Once you have registered via Eventbrite, you will receive the Zoom webinar details.


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