Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Uncle Paul Spearim, Open Letter to NSW Parliament
This is an open letter to the NSW State Parliament.
My name is Paul Spearim and I am a proud descendant of the Gamilaraay Nation of Northern NSW and Southern Queensland.
Through both my parents ancestry I can trace my connection to the Gamilaraay Nation back 3 Generations before the Gamilaraay Nation and Australia was even discovered. With my Gamilaraay connection locked within my Gii (heart) and Dhuwi (soul) my traditional upbringing was always prevalent in all matters relating to myself and my siblings learning song, dance, stories, knowledge and culture of my people.
Over the past 45 years I have maintained a cultural, spiritual and knowledge based connection to my sacred lands, by following the ancient teachings of my Grandparents, Parents, Aunties and Uncles and passing these teachings onto thousands of Gamilaraay people. Whether it be at Moree, Boobera Lagoon, Gunnedah, Biliga, Narrabri, Terrie Hie Hie, Inverell, Tingha, Boggabilla, Mungindi,Walgett and many other small towns and clan group areas that make up our unique sacred lands.
This brings me to the Political concept of what all First Nations people have to deal with when confronting the burden of prove to having a continues connection to their sacred lands. But for me personally this did not begin in 1901 or when the 1967 Referendum took place or when the evil Native Title Legislation was enacted. No, my continued connection goes back to when my Grandparents, Great Grandparents and so on, my Parents, Aunties and Uncles first passed onto me my connection to my songs, dance, stories, knowledge and culture. This just goes to show that the Gamilaraay Nation are a great example of the Oldest Surviving Race of peoples in the world, and how we still have maintained a continues connection to our sacred Gamilaraay lands since Gamilu Bidi-Wii (Creation).
For 3 generation my family have been excluded from the land and stopped from caring for the plants and animals and the purity of our water.
We are calling on you to say GAMIL (no) to anymore destruction occurring in my sacred lands. Sacred sites of very important significants have already been destroyed by Whitehaven, Santos and other Coal mining companies within our nation all with the approval of your colleagues and former politicians.
I wonder if the NSW State Parliament members have ever Maayali (whispered) into there babies/children or grandchildren’s ears, “I love you dearly and I will protect you with all my heart.
Well this is exactly how we as Gamilaraay people feel about our children. But what are we going to protect if you as our political representatives have already approved and desecrated one of our largest 'Birthing Ground's' not more than 5km away from Whitehavens front door.
Again I appeal to all members of the NSW State Parliament when in the future they are asked by there babies/children and grandchildren. “Mum, Dad, Nan, Pop when you where in politics I thought Northern NSW or more importantly the Gamilaraay Nation was unique, once made up of four very rich sustainable eco systems, towards the east is the great dividing ranges with its temperate rainforest and once rich gold and precious gems ladened lands.
In the west is the semi arid red soiled plains, now made famous (sic) for the cattle & sheep grazing industry. To the north is the black soiled plains now know as the food bowl of australia and in the south is the flood plains which is now known as the capital of the cotton industry.
Since this illegal occupation of my once striving landscape began, the famous Guwaydir River, which once stretched from one side of Gamilaraay to the other is almost dry. The Namoi River, which is the important sacred marker for Gamilu Bidi Wii (big and little Light) it is slowing to a very small trickle. The once crystal clear waters of the Barwon the resting place of the underground Seven Rivers is now like a stream and the very large raging Condomine which once proudly flowed into the Wiradjuri Nation is almost gone in some parts.
These where once major waterways and now they are almost dying, because of the introduction of sheep and cattle, the farming industry, cotton and now coal and CSG”.
Also the life giving Great Artesian Basin which carries old stories that relate back to Gamilu Bidi-Wii (Creation) within our sacred lands.
So again I say what is your answer going to be when they say, “WHY DID'NT YOU STOP THIS DESECRATION”.