Binang Goonj is a phrase from the Bidjera language in South West Queensland. It means – ‘you hear but don’t listen”.

 

Over the past two decades we have adopted the phrase for our cross-cultural education work which examines the effects of racism, prejudice and discrimination on interactions between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Australia since colonisation.

 

Today our society seems to be more fractured and violent than in any other decade and disadvantage and exclusion seem to be dominating the ideals of multiculturalism and tolerance to which we once aspired.

 

How, in 2015, can we tolerate the verbal racial vilification of such Aboriginal athletes and role models as Adam Goode, or legislation, which makes it an offence for health professionals to reveal abuse in off-shore detention centres? Why have there been so few positive developments in Aboriginal education, health and employment? Why are we so eager to ‘blame the victim’  when faced with the reality of poverty, economic exploitation and physical violence?

 

It seems clear to us, that the concepts and principles underlying Binang Goonj are relevant to all people and situations related to disadvantage, discrimination and social isolation as well as Asylum Seekers and Refugees.

 

We invite you to “Yarn with Us” to keep the dialogue about community issues and concerns on track.