Pandemic May Be Turning Point For Reconciliation

Filed in Just In by May 27, 2020

TODAY the Scone Neighbourhood Resource Centre and Upper Hunter Shire Council held a flag raising ceremony as part of Reconciliation Week, with local Wonnarua people and children from local schools, with this year’s theme aptly being “All In This Together.”

Richard Lawton, a Bidjara man, who has lived in Scone in Wonnarua country for nearly 20 years said this year with the pandemic, it may mark a turning point for all Australians to come together and think about our future differently, because we are ‘all in this together’.

“It’s another turning point in everybody’s life, it’s changed the course of how we live, how we connect with other people and it could be a turning point for the next step into the future,” said Richie Lawton.

Richie Lawton speaking at this morning’s reconciliation week flag raising ceremony.

“This is what reconciliation is all about looking at the future,” he said.

“We’ve got the oldest history in the world, we’ve come through a drought, bushfires and then the pandemic, but we can all look to the future” he said. 

“This is a great opportunity for all Australians to come and explore the outback, connect with aboriginal culture, because I don’t think people are going to jump on aeroplanes and go overseas.

“I have travelled overseas playing the didgeridoo and there are some great places, but we’ve got the greatest country in the world.

“We’ve all been so busy, but the pandemic has dropped us all back a couple of gears.

“We have the chance now to stop and just feel our own country.

“We should buy local products, put the emphasis back into our own country, we have all the resources we need and it’s brought us all back to the basics,” he said.

“It’s pulled us all back to the same level, but it can be a turning point where we can all look forward to the future together,” Richie Lawton said.

Richard Lawton is passionate about teaching people about his Aboriginal culture and spends time at local schools teaching young people how to make didgeridoos and has now picked up back up his business of making didgeridoos, something he began in Alice Springs decades ago.

“I play didgeridoo as a dedication to my dad, my brother and my sister, because I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye and it’s a way for healing my soul,” he said.

Richie Lawton playing the didgeridoo at this morning’s ceremony for reconciliation week, with Inspector Guy Guiana and Mayor Wayne Bedggood in the background.

“I went into a deep depression and that’s when I knew I had to do something, so I said, ‘I’m going to make 100 didgeridoos and sell them’ and that’s what I started doing,” he said. 

“I started making didg in our backyard in Alice Springs, but since then I moved to Scone, my girls went to Scone Primary School and then I just did it as a hobby while I was working in the mines and at Bhima, but I’ve left the mining industry now and decided to follow my dream again and do the didgeridoos,” he said.

“In learning from my family I had the opportunity with what they shared with us and showed us and I appreciated every minute and we can all do that here as being part of our own local community” Richie Lawton said. 

Richie named his business Budbudda Dreaming after the echidna, called Budbudda in Bidjara language.

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