The newly formed Illawarra Aboriginal Solidarity Group will hold a launch on November 21 with the screening of two films at Wollongong TAFE.
The Illawarra region has a strong history of activism around the injustices that Indigenous people face, including past campaign work by the South Coast Aboriginal Advancement League and the Illawarra Aboriginal Rights Group.
Lyle Davis, a Brierley/Piety/Dharawal man, emphasises that while this is the launch of a new group it is continuing on with work that has taken place for many years.
“This is our generation picking up from where the previous generation left off, and we’re looking after things now for the next generation to pick up after us.”
The group has a commitment to Aboriginal sovereignty and is open to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in the Illawarra. It is working with local Aboriginal communities based on the principles of social justice and mutual learning to promote equality and self-determination.
The group has met fortnightly since July and has generated a lot of interest with group members regularly networking in the community. It has steadily grown in strength and support with about 10 to 12 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal group members consistently participating in productive and vibrant meetings.
The two films to be shown at the launch will be Spirit of the Warriors — the story of six Aboriginal diggers who were killed in the Kokoda campaign and the returning of their spirits to their countries in Australia — and We Come from the Land a documentary by the Jerrinja and Wreck Bay Aboriginal communities of Jervis Bay about the future of the area and the government's plans to build the largest naval base on the east coast.
The filmmakers will attend the launch and there will be a Q&A session following the screenings.
[The films will be screened at 6pm at Wollongong Tafe auditorium. Entry is by gold coin donation.]