More Than Words
National Reconciliation Week 2021
My name is Bridget Garay, and I am a Meriam woman with family connections to Mer (Murray) Island in the Eastern Torres Strait. As a First Nations Senior Managing Producer with QMF, I’m currently developing the new “Generations” program: a culturally responsive and consultative initiative using song and storytelling as a vehicle for reconnecting elders and young people. I’m very excited about the future direction of our organisation.
The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2021 is “More than a word, Reconciliation takes action.” Since my appointment in March 2020, I have developed a cultural framework and delivered Cultural Awareness Training to the whole organisation. To my delight 15 months down the track, I can see how my colleagues are now working with our community using appropriate language, strategies and adhering to cultural protocols when working with our people.
QMF has been committed to working in our community for many years and now the commitment extends to Indigenous led engagement programs and increasing the cultural capability of the organisation. In February, QMF welcomed Gerty Benjamin another Torres Strait Islander woman as an Associate Producer who is working across many events on the Queensland Music Trails.
I am proud to work for an organisation that continues to improve their practices to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are represented appropriately. I am also grateful for the support of my colleagues in the development of the forthcoming “Generations” program.
“More Than Words” invites us to take initiative in building a more collaborative and respectful community for everyone. It is an important opportunity for us all to ask whether we are taking action on a personal and professional level to work toward reconciliation.
In conclusion I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes: “You can’t play the piano with all the black keys or all the white keys – we have to play them together to make beautiful music”.
Senior First Nations Managing Producer