National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is held annually from 27 May to 3 June as a time for all Australians to learn about our nation’s shared histories, great achievements cultures and to reflect on the events of the past as well as the present. Communities, individuals and organisations across the country join in commemorating two significant milestones in the journey of reconciliation; the 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.
This year’s theme is Grounded in Truth; Walk Together with Courage. The core aim of reconciliation is the formation and development of relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community. The theme for 2019 has been inspired by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ongoing perseverance for the truth telling about the colonial history of Australia and the devastation, racism and violence that has come with it. Reconciliation Australia states that 80% of the general population and 91% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people truly believe that it is vital for formal truth telling processes to take place.
Last week Western Sydney Community Forum partnered with Parramatta City Council to provide Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training run by Dave Widders from Widders Consultancy. Participants were involved in numerous robust discussions and have since been encouraged to actively take part in the journey of reconciliation in 2019 onwards. One great example of this was the Welcome to Country at Bankwest Stadium for the NRL Indigenous Round which was performed by Uncle Greg, Jie Pittman along with other Aboriginal Elders and individuals.
This week WSCF joins in commemorating the 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision, as significant milestones towards reconciliation. We look forward to a week of reflection, learning, sharing and exploring how we can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
For more information about NRW and events near you visit Reconciliation Australia.