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Wi3W – Ep. 22 – Uncle Alan Parsons and Andrew Schulz speak about Goondeen, a new Outback Museum in Charleville and lots more



About Uncle Alan Parsons (Hear Uncle Alan on our very first Podcast here)

Alan C. Parsons was born in Charleville and has traditional links to the Bidjira/Yiman people in Central Queensland. Alan is a recognised visual artist who was encouraged to explore his talents and discovered a strong cultural affinity to his artistic expression.

Alan was unaware of his Aboriginal heritage until he was in his thirties, and in 1987 he was able to find his family and country. He said it was so important to make “the connection” to be able to begin to understand his cultural identity and belonging. He also advocates for those with a “unique ability” and shares his First Nations wisdom to four year olds (Kindy) and recently an artist in residence at Woodfordia. Alan sees his involvement in disability services, reconnecting to his community, his culture and family as an opportunity to ‘push boundaries’, ‘encourage inclusion’, and to seek opportunities to promote integration around ‘cultural awareness’.

About Andrew Schulz

Born on Yirandhali (Hughendon, Qld) country, as a farming family. Andrew always had First Nations as friends, moved to Charleville in 1963, where his father operated as a Stock and Station agent.

Andrew graduated as an architect (1980) and has had a long career in his own architecture business in Brisbane with associates also in NSW.

He has always had a strong connection to nature, the bush and the First Peoples of this continent.
He has developed a strong community online (4,000 + members) with a Facebook group – Understanding Australia – GOONDEEN WAY FINDING. This has also developed into a powerful education resource across Australia.

Andrew Schulz and Bill Synott (his associate and friend) conceived and developed the idea to publish a series of books, focussing on acknowledgement of this continents long history and rich culture 3200 generations in the making.

The first book published is “Goondeen – Understanding Australia”.

Goondeen (the book) – written by Sophie Church

WHAT IS AUSTRALIA?
WHO ARE AUSTRALIANS?
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF GOONDEEN?

In Aboriginal terminology, a ‘Goondeen’ is a person respected for their wisdom, gleaned from long experience; an elder who is listened to and their opinions shared and acted upon. In this book, you will meet three Goondeens: Uncle Albert Holt, a Murri man and champion of equality; Henry Palaszczuk, a migrant, former MP and community advocate; and Everald Compton, a successful businessman and social activist.

Indigenous and non-Indigenous, these three men have joined together to reflect on the impact of key historical moments during their lifetimes, and to ask probing, sometimes uncomfortable questions about what type of country Australia is, and who Australians are as a people.

For Everald Compton, Australia is a land of possibility but unfulfilled potential.

For Henry Palaszcuzk, it is a place of opportunity and refuge, but also prejudice.

For Albert Holt, it is a country of discrimination and bigotry — and of hope.

This is not a history of Australia; it’s the multi-faceted personal story of a country that is complicated, bold, negligent and wondrous. It challenges YOU to truly understand Australia, by reaching into your own conscience and deciding what type of Australian you are, what type of country you want to live in and what Australia’s place in the world might be. It invites you to learn more about who Goondeens are, what it takes to become one and, above all, why Australia needs Goondeens.

Originating from Murri language groups, a “Goondeen” is a person respected for their wisdom, gleaned from long experience; an elder who is listened to and their opinions shared and acted upon. Goondeens can be well known figures or local heroes. She or he might be someone who demonstrates the unpretentious values of share, care and respect, for the land, the environment and for other people. Goondeens are people who foster a sense of belonging within the community and lift others up through their positive actions. A Goondeen is a person who reaches out to assist, to mentor, or to offer sound advice and guidance to another individual or group of people without seeking anything in return, other than the satisfaction of contributing to the harmony of society. Celebrating Goondeens in our communities fosters a deeper understanding of Australia and what it means to be Australian, reconnecting all Australians, whatever their background, with the country, and generating discussion and debate and, ultimately, progressive social and economic policies.

Andrew is also interested in the development of the Outback Museum of Australia to be constructed in Charleville.
The announcement of a successful grant application occurred in late October 2021, where the Australian Government awarded $8.0 M to develop the project and the tourism precinct in Charleville. The precinct boasts the Cosmos Centre.
Together Uncle Alan Parsons and Andrew are advocates for the story of Bidjara, the custodians of this country for a 100,000 years. The success of the Outback Museum of Australia will rely upon the curator depicting decisions today being assessed and scrutinised 100 years from now . Andrew asks , “will our children’s children be proud of our decision making in 2022 ?“

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2 Comments

  1. Great podcast. Enjoyed this episode. Visited the cosmos centre in Charleville a couple of months ago and whole-heartedly agree that it fails to present any of the indigenous knowledge on astronomy. Would like to write a letter to the relevant authorities supporting Uncle Alan and Andrew’s visions for the proposed Outback Museum. Could you please post on the website the template/talking points for reference in drafting the letter? Thanks and keep up the great work.

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