Save our Bondi Indigenous Mural

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Save our Bondi Indigenous Mural

This petition had 1,095 supporters

Save Our Bondi Indigenous Mural started this petition to The Australian People

'From Little Things Big Things Grow'
Black history cannot and should not be ‘whitewashed’

A mural celebrating Reconciliation and the Indigenous social justice movement was painted on the wall of the ‘Chapel by the Sea’ in Bondi in 2013. In mid 2016 plans for the development of the Chapel site were announced that would entail destruction of the mural and what it represents claiming that the mural was ‘deeply disrespectful’ of Indigenous culture and traditions.

Yet, the mural, which had been painted by an English Australian artist and a Wiradjuri artist and depicted a number of key Indigenous social justice advocates - Eddie Mabo, Vincent Lingiari, Mum Shirl Smith, Faith Bandler and Charles Perkins – was highly regarded by a great many Indigenous people. Permissions for the advocates’ depictions had been sought and obtained from members of their families who were shocked that the mural might be destroyed:

In addition, children from Goodooga in western NSW had put their handprints on the mural. They had come to see the sea for the first time and make their mark on history and make it part of their own histories. This mural is about the future as well as the past.

On November 30 2016, the Wayside Chapel, who had taken over administration of the ‘Chapel by the Sea’ painted over the mural despite an application for a Heritage listing for the mural being in process. They, quite literally, whitewashed over the mural and what it represented – both Indigenous history and the hopes and dreams of Indigenous children.

Wayside then announced that the mural had been destroyed and informed the Heritage Council of this and requested that the Heritage application be halted.

But, in truth, the mural has not been destroyed. It has just been hidden.

This is why a new Heritage listing has been applied for and is in process.

An interim heritage listing will enable us to confirm that the paint can be removed and the mural revealed.

The Bondi Reconciliation Wall is now ‘living history’ and is already being used to educate the young – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. The ‘white wash’ should be seen for what it and represents and the importance of the message of the mural, as public art, has been amplified by Wayside’s attempted destruction of it.

NSW Aboriginal Land Council Chair Roy Ah See said that the Aboriginal Community had looked up to the ‘heroes’ depicted in the Mural as their" heritage ".

Senator Patrick Dodson has said " It’s a serious step to remove any acknowledgement of the depiction of such constructive and dedicated leaders in a time when evidence of historical connectivity and the activities of our great past leaders has not been understood or appreciated".

Moreover, its now just 50 years since the referendum that recognised the right of Indigenous people to exist in the sense of actually being counted as part of the Australian population.

We ask you to sign this petition to show your support for this Heritage listing application.

Petition Closed

This petition had 1,095 supporters