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Featured image for WinterWild event with Inala Cooper. Image is a photo of a recently burnt Australian forest with the text Walking on Country overlayed in black, yellow and red colours

WinterWild: Walking on Country

Join a panel of Indigenous leaders including Associate Professor Dr. Michael-Shawn Fletcher, a Wiradjuri man, paleo-ecologist and biogeographer; Dr. Jack Pascoe, a Yuin man, ecologist and Research Manager at the Conservation Ecology Centre at Cape Otway and Inala Cooper, a Yawuru woman, Indigenous rights advocate, and Director of Murrup Barak, the Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development at Melbourne University. They will challenge us to open our hearts and minds and genuinely share this business of reconciliation and healing country. Facilitated by Richard Cornish.

Includes morning tea.

Inala Cooper

Inala Cooper in conversation with Meredith Burgmann (Gleebooks)

What does reconciliation and truth-telling look like, and how do we as a nation find justice for Indigenous people?

In this deeply personal work, Inala Cooper shares stories of her family to show the impact of colonisation on the lives of Aboriginal people from the 1940s to now. She reveals the struggles faced by her Elders and contrasts them with the freedoms she comes across as an Aboriginal woman today. Speaking only from lived experience, Inala examines racism, privilege, and how deeply personal is one’s identity. Her stories illustrate the complexities of identifying as Aboriginal and the importance of community in an increasingly individualist world.

Exploring the impacts of major events throughout her life, Inala reflects on how human rights are breached and defended. She examines reconciliation and the need to share wealth and power, and the importance of truth-telling and justice. In finding her place as an advocate and activist for social justice, Inala is supported by her family, her ancestors, community and the academy. It is these supports that help her challenge racist and outdated notions of what it means to be Indigenous, sovereign and self-determined, and to uphold the principles of justice.

The thought-provoking stories in this book surface more questions than the necessary answers. But Inala brings us to her home as she weaves together her stories, the country she’s connected to, and the elements that shape her path — none so prevalent as Marrul: the changing wind.

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