In 2016, Stan Grant stood before a crowd gathered in the cold and damp of Albury's civic square and spoke of his people "born into a deep well of sadness".
The distinguished journalist and proud Wiradjuri man described, with raw and searing words, the journey of a people "estranged and lost in the land of our ancestors".
He spoke powerfully of a people dying too young and too often at their own hands, besieged by mental illness, disproportionately incarcerated and dying in custody.
"Our fight has been to stay alive," he told the Albury-Wodonga Winter Solstice that year.
He spoke of the 10-year-old girl in a "far flung corner of Western Australia" who took her life.
He spoke of Aboriginal children under the age of 14 who are nine times more likely to die by suicide.
He spoke of the fact that for Aboriginal people under the age of 35, suicide is the biggest single cause of death.
"And we ask ourselves how this can be in a country as prosperous and as cohesive and as overwhelmingly successful as Australia," he said at the time.
In his speech that night, Grant spoke hauntingly of a people struggling to find a place in their own country.
"My father and me, and other Aboriginal people, have grown up with what the Polish poet Czelaw Milosz referred to as the memory of wounds," Grant said.
"He said perhaps all memory is the memory of wounds and sadly for our people that is all too often the case.
"That we are born into a deep well of sadness ... that comes form losing your land, from being forced onto the margins of society, to be on the outside always looking in."
How that wound must weep still as the world turns its attention and outrage to the events unfolding in the US, with the death of black man George Floyd at the hands of police.
How deeply disturbing indeed to watch thousands of indignant Australians rally under a Black Lives Matter banner to condemn police violence in the US this week.
How that wound must ache as the cries of protest fall strangely silent in the face of our own country's shameful past - and present.
Arrernte woman Celeste Liddle wrote the following, telling, observation for The Guardian this week:
"It's therefore been interesting, and disheartening, watching the Australian response to the riots happening in the US following the death of African American man George Floyd while in police custody. The world should be outraged by his death and should be taking action to ensure it never happens again. Yet the 24-7 coverage shows just how much more newsworthy a Black death in custody from the US is here than the many Aboriginal deaths in Australia."
Albury Anglican priest Father Peter MacLeod-Miller says Australians cannot afford to "point the finger" at what is happening over the pond.
"You look at the violence towards black people and current riots in the US and people are saying it's so un-American," the rector of St Mathew's Church reflected this week.
"It's not un-American at all - this is America."
... That the first people of this country will no longer be the last people of this country; that we'll be seen too as living in Australia.Stan Grant
It's the same story here.
"Our outcomes for indigenous people are so poor; there are so many displaced and destroyed indigenous people ... so many ruined," Father Peter said.
"Their presence haunts the conscience of this nation ...
"This is not un-Australian. This is Australia."
Father Peter finds it difficult to clap at the cutesie songs and even harder to sing the anthems.
"We are so busy proclaiming I am, you are, we are Australian, we don't see our Australians - we don't see them," he said.
From backyard barbecues to the highest levels of government, this country "still holds values that diminish the very people we are supposed to be responsible for", according to Father Peter.
"The songs are lovely on stage but what does it look like when the lights go out and the microphones are packed away?"
Father Peter bears witness daily to people with "unspeakable wounds" - those Australians invisible to society; one in which every door is closed to them.
"Is it impossible to treat people properly without having a Royal Commission on it?" he asked.
"I think it says something really impoverished about our Australian spirit."
In the Winter Solstice, Father Peter sees an event that moves beyond the national pantomime of what it means to be Australian.
Where people are given permission to speak their truth and to tell their story - and in doing so discover we are far more connected than we could imagine.
"Remember, the people who organise the Solstice are all amazingly hurt people; incredibly they have put us back in touch with our shared humanity," he said.
"The event has allowed people to speak of things they may never have spoken of ... to unlock cupboards where they have been carrying, so quietly, such enormous pain.
"And to say, this is not unspeakable."
In 2017, former NRL star and boxing champ Joe Williams shared his battle with mental illness and the enemy he fought so fiercely off the field - the one that nearly took his life.
As he spoke, he marvelled at the shared solace of this event: "Being out here. Braving the cold. Showing that you care ... Anyone that you've lost to suicide, they're here tonight. You grip on to them. You love them. Close your eyes and you talk to them."
Or you sing for them.
Indigenous singer and songwriter Jess Hitchcock will share a song of strength and hope when she joins the Winter Solstice for the first time this year.
Hitchcock, who toured with Paul Kelly and Kate Miller-Hiedke in 2019, will perform live with a song she has written about a niece who tried to take her life.
"So many of our young people have lost their way," said the award-winning artist and teacher at Short Black Opera.
"The song reminds us our ancestors are always with us and there are people around us who are there if we need them."
Hitchcock, who jumped at the chance to be part of the Solstice, said the devastating reality of its importance had hit close to home.
"Last week a young boy I work with, just 15 years old, took his life," she revealed.
"This loss out of the blue has been gut-wrenching.
"So many young Aboriginal boys are taking their lives, especially in remote areas ... I am in a very strange place because it is so present and very much in the front of my mind."
For Grant, who spent 16 years living outside Australia covering "the big stories of our time" - from terrorism in the Middle East to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the story of his people is one that must stay at the forefront of our minds.
In 2014, he returned to a country with so much plenty but with so little for its indigenous people.
And he wondered when that 10-year-old girl took her life, "if for a moment we didn't talk about her as an indigenous girl ... if for a moment we saw her as an Australian girl".
"(That) this is not happening in an indigenous community, this is happening in Australia," Grant reflected.
"It's not someone else's problem. It is something we own as Australians."
He has seen this sentiment echoed in the words and actions of others.
"That we are a country that will not be defined by the racism of the past ... we will not be defined by dispossession and suffering and injustice anymore," he said.
"I hear this and I see this and it gives me incredible hope for a country ... a country that can look at us and see us as Australians too.
"That the first people of this country will no longer be the last people of this country."
He saw that hope reflected in the faces of those gathered at Albury four years ago:
"I see it in all of you turning out in the cold and wet to say we are a better country than our worst - that in our worst moments we find ourselves in each other."
It's our hope in 2020 too.