During National Reconciliation Week (NRW), Australians are asked to learn about shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
From Wednesday, 27 May, people around the country asked to mark this year’s theme, In This Together, through personal acknowledgements and participating in virtual events online.
Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine said that the week was about making it clear that Australia’s journey towards reconciliation depends upon “individuals, organisations and communities” joining forces.
“The National Reconciliation Week 2020 theme reinforces that we all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures,” she said.
“When we come together to build mutual respect and understanding, we shape a better future for all Australians.”
This sentiment was also echoed by the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, who spoke on Monday when announcing an additional $10.8 million over three years for Reconciliation Australia to continue their community work.
In addition to coordinating NRW, the organisation also runs that Australian Reconciliation Barometer and supports the development of Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP) by local businesses and organisations.
“For two decades, Reconciliation Australia has worked to improve relationships between Indigenous and other Australians, by building respect, trust and opportunities among individuals, organisations, schools and communities,” Minister Wyatt said.
“Through its Australian Reconciliation Barometer and Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program, Reconciliation Australia has provided significant momentum to empower people to build a better future for all of us.”
ANMF Assistant Federal Secretary Lori-Anne Sharp said this National Reconciliation Week the ANMF will be engaging with the many remote activities that have been organised by Reconciliation Australia, ANTAR and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.
” There is a range of forums, films, concerts and readings to engage with, and I encourage members to go and have a look and participate where they can. See NRW event details at https://nrw.reconciliation.org.au/events/’”.
Reconciliation Australia has suggested celebrating the week ‘virtually’ and safely in the following ways:
- For those based at home: Record a video acknowledging country, get your colleagues/family/housemates involved with the process, and put out signs/chalk drawings on your driveway.
- Those in a workplace/office: A workplace acknowledgement video/photograph, a compilation of acknowledgments from colleagues’ place of residence, or a zoom meeting where everyone holds a sign informing people of the land they are based on.
- There is also an event on Facebook, with members of the public encouraged to acknowledge country on social media at midday today.
The ABC will also mark the occasion by running events in conjunction with Reconciliation Australia across their respective platforms, while SBS is hosting a “Reconciliation Film Club” online.
National Reconciliation Week runs from 27 May to 3 June, and was preceded by National Sorry Day on Tuesday, 26 May.
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