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  • Writer's pictureBronwyn Kelly

Turning Towards a First Peoples Heart

Australia is at a critical turning point in its history. Depending on the paths we choose in 2020, the turns we take and their timing, we could arrive at a better future by 2050 or a much worse one. If we are to transition to a better future there are some things that we might concentrate on in the early stages of this decade to ensure that any plans we decide on will have the greatest chance of success.

In Chapter 9 of my book By 2050 I set out some of the most important turning points – the ones we don’t want to miss before 2030. The list sets a context for our starting position at 2020. Unless we succeed in these critical actions, we are very unlikely to succeed in other expectations for social mobility, environmental recovery and economic ascendancy that we might envision as desirable by 2050. These key turning points are:

  • Turning away from growth in inequality,

  • Turning away from growth in racial and religious conflict,

  • Turning towards a First Peoples Heart,

  • Turning away from loss of openness and transparency in governance and democracy,

  • Turning away from climate catastrophe, and

  • Turning away from disengagement in our democracy.

Notably, this list doesn’t contain anything about Australia's economy – not directly anyway. And but for one obvious exception, it doesn’t specifically cover what we should turn towards. However, there is much to suggest that if these things are turned around then a strong economy will follow. There is also much to suggest that if we don’t turn inequality, social exclusion, repressive and secretive governance and climate change from their current trajectories, a weaker economy will arise.

In this extract from By 2050: Planning a better future for our children in 21st century

democratic Australia, I discuss what is possibly the most important unmissable turn – the vital turn needed towards a First Peoples Heart. While many may argue that this turn does not compare to the size of the challenge we are facing and the turns we need to make in regard to something like climate change, the significance of the turn towards a First Peoples Heart consists in the very high probability that if we have the courage to make that particular turn, all the other turns will be easier, inasmuch as we will have the makings of a clearer sense of our identity, values and integrity as a nation.

I hope you enjoy this extract from By 2050. The full By 2050 is available on Amazon Kindle at

Turning Towards a First Peoples Heart -
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