The Progressive Spirituality Network invites you to a lecture and discussion
“An overview of the Oodgeroo Treaty Circle process and Cultural Heritage Education Program (CHEP).”
Presented by John Tracey
Sunday July 11 6.30 pm
At the West End Uniting Church
Corner of Vulture and Sussex St. West End (Brisbane).
The “Oodgeroo of the tribe Noonuccal, Custodian of the land Minjerribah, Peace, Prosperity and healing, Sacred Treaty Circles” is a process of peace and reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people within the frameworks of Aboriginal sovereignty and customary law. It is not a reconciliation process of “meeting in the middle” but of non-Aboriginal people locating themselves within Aboriginal reality and participating in and learning from Aboriginal ways of being.
The Cultural Heritage Education Program (CHEP) was devised by Oodgeroo and her son Bejam through “Alcheringa Incarcerated People’s Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (IPCHAC)”, an Aboriginal prisoners’ organisation that formed in Boggo Rd. prison in 1988, growing out of the prison riots of the 80s, the consequent Kennedy inquiry into prisons and during Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in custody.
The IPCHAC CHEP was designed primarily to reconnect Aboriginal prisoners with their culture, land and family however many non-Aboriginal prisoners participated in the process proving the Aboriginal methodology for healing was also appropriate for non-Aboriginal people.
As a result of the CHEP, the “Queensland Indeterminate Sentenced Prisoners Association (QUISPA)”, the Boggo Road lifer’s organisation, became a sub-committee of IPCHAC, thus institutionalizing peace between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal prisoners where there had previously been racial tension.
IPCHAC went on to present the CHEP outside of prison, with lecturers on day release, to West End Aboriginal organisations as well as to staff and students at Griffith University.
Oodgeroo’s son Bejam, the coordinator and principle lecturer of the IPCHAC CHEP, has continued presenting the CHEP program to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community groups and individuals based on Oodgeroo’s country and law.