Message stick brings mob together

A unique initiative by the Queensland/Northern Territory Branch of the IEU has seen an Aboriginal message stick passed around a huge part of their region to facilitate contact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and commence a journey of reconciliation.

The message stick – a traditional form of communication – is part of the branch’s broader Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). A RAP is a living document outlining practical actions the organisation will take to build strong relationships and enhanced respect between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians.

The message stick was donated by Noonuccal elder and IEUA-QNT member Aunty Thersa Nunn. Aunty Nunn is also part of the Working Group responsible for developing and overseeing implementation of the IEUA-QNT RAP.

Aunty Nunn said the message stick would ‘bring our mob together”.

“The idea of giving the message stick to the Union was to unite all schools and all people, not just Aboriginal people,” Aunty Nunn said.

The message stick was handed to IEUA-QNT Secretary Terry Burke formally by Aunty Nunn during an IEUA-QNT Council meeting.

RAP Working Group member John Anderson said the message stick was “important to bind people together in thoughts, aspirations, actions and behaviours to make a difference.”

To watch a video about the message stick, see

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