Intersections of the colonial and postcolonial: pragmatism, praxis and transformative grassroots activism at Sandon Point
The local community at Sandon Point, located in the northern suburbs of Wollongong, has engaged in a decade-long campaign to save and protect the area. In challenging a proposed residential estate, the broader community have struggled in parallel and alongside the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy (SPATE), established in December 2000. This paper engages with the actions of the broader community in opposing the residential proposal, and how their emphasis on respect and recognition of SPATE has increased over time. The specific focus here are the roots of such change, which have manifested through what is termed here as the politics of experience - which is directly emergent from the spaces created by activism. I argue that through becoming involved in a collaborative struggle with SPATE, the transformative potential of a postcolonial approach (what amount to decolonisation practices) to social change has in a number of ways been realised.