Performance Narratives: Redfern 1992

My involvement in the Sport Coaching Pedagogy unit (#SCP12) at the University of Canberra last semester encouraged me to think about the narratives coaches use to share their vision about performance.
I was revisiting some of the content of the unit this week (Coach as Performer, Sharing and Presenting Information).
Whilst doing this I came across Paul Keating’s 1992 speech in Redfern.
In the speech (at the Launch of the International Year for the World’s Indigenous People) he said:

  • The starting point might be to recognise that the problem starts with us non-Aboriginal Australians.
  • We failed to ask – how would I feel if this were done to me?
  • The message should be that there is nothing to fear or to lose in the recognition of historical truth, or the extension of social justice, or the deepening of Australian social democracy to include indigenous Australians. There is everything to gain.
  • There is one thing today we cannot imagine. We cannot imagine that the descendants of people whose genius and resilience maintained a culture here through fifty thousand years or more, through cataclysmic changes to the climate and environment, and who then survived two centuries of disposession and abuse, will be denied their place in the modern Australian nation.

Deborah Cheetham is working on a song cycle based on this speech.
I am going to use the speech the next time I am involved in #SCP. Amongst many issues it raises is the relationship between a speech writer and a public speech, between the ideas on paper and their voice.
Photo Credit
Paul Keating


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