Congratulations to Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) who were announced as the winners of the National Reconciliation Week draw at ACTCOSS' Budget Forum on Thursday 7 June 2018. The prize is $300 of resources to build awareness of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultures and knowledge. Resources include items such as: AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia, The Little Red Yellow Black Book, Ngunnawal Plant Use Book, and more.
Thank you to all of the organisations that entered the draw and shared how their workplace would recognise and celebrate Reconciliation Day, Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focused public holiday in the ACT, and National Reconciliation Week.
You can read the entries below.
Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT)
We will celebrate by doing acknowledgements from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous workers. We will take time to share our thoughts and feelings on the topic, watch a dvd and chat over a cuppa and good old scones at the office.
The Atherton Street office at Barnardos recognised National Reconciliation Week by exploring the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people since the beginning of the white colonisation in Australia. This was in keeping with this year’s theme, “Don’t Keep History a Mystery”.
Staff were sent two emails each week with a link to an article/film/podcast that explored the impact of the white colonisation of Australia. These emails started on May 2nd with a link to the National Reconciliation Week on Reconciliation Australia’s website. All staff were invited to an afternoon tea on Tuesday May 29.
At the afternoon tea not everyone shared information but everyone learned something. Each member of staff was given a copy of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We talked about the Coniston massacre and the community led movement to build a monument and reconcile a community with deep scars. We looked at historian Mark McKenna’s “Moment of Truth” essay which suggests that National Reconciliation should be built into any talk of a Republic. Professor Lyndal Reid and her map of the massacres sites on the eastern seaboard of Australia was mentioned. One member of staff brought in some books for other staff members to borrow.
Our event was an opportunity for our staff to reflect on what has happened to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people since white colonisation and hopefully uncover some of the mystery of our shared history.
Belconnen Community Service
Belconnen Community Service's Youth Engagement Team will be running two activities for National Reconciliation Week. Following a consultation conducted with young people who regularly frequent Belconnen Youth Centre, young people expressed interest in hearing stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. As a result, we will be having a showing of Yolngu Boy and follow up discussion at Belconnen Youth Centre, and on a separate occasion we will be having visitors sourced through Winnunga and young people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Islander sharing stories of their culture with each other and the broader group who attend Belconnen Youth Centre.
We would greatly value other resources that could be displayed and used at Belconnen Youth Centre to allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait to see their cultural heritage celebrated, and to build greater awareness among non-indigenous young people of the positive contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and their culture makes in our community.
Capital Health Network
We are going to send staff an email each day of National Reconciliation Week with things like:
- a link to a podcast about an event in Indigenous history
- a photo and explanation of a beautiful painting done by an Indigenous member of our staff
- some reflective material about the impact of significant historical events.
We are also going to show some short documentaries/films at lunch time each day (30-40 mins) and invite all staff to attend and share their lunch time together.
The Connection Service/Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (CAHMA)
The Connection is an Aboriginal peer based alcohol and other drug service, run by CAHMA a mainstream alcohol and other drugs (AOD) organisation, situated in Belconnen. The Connection service provides peer education, health promotion, case management, support, advocacy and referral for alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and mental health related issues to the Aboriginal community, their friends and family. A primary role of the organisation is the provision of peer services in order to enable consumers to be actively involved and engaged in improving their own health. Through the provision of health education and promotion, service users are able to make informed and supported decisions that lead to healthier and safer options in relation to their health.
We have interactive health promotion walls - this month it is about Reconciliation. There are snippets of history for people to read about, and Reconciliation events are advertised. People can also write a message on one of the many, black, yellow and red cut out hands. So far people have written “I am sorry for what my people have and are doing” and “Please support us in stopping our children being taken again”. We also have canvases and other arts and crafts available for people to add to the walls, or just make something for themselves. Any art and crafts made has the opportunity to be showcased in NAIDOC week, where we will be exhibiting peoples' work and there will be prizes to be won. In addition, our deadly yarning group will meet on Tuesday 29th March. The deadly yarning group is a group consists of up to 12 participants and every month we get together to learn about a new health promotion and harm reduction topic, have lunch, participate in arts and crafts and just have a yarn. This time we will be yarning about Reconciliation Day, our history and what it means today. The deadly yarning group will then host a lunch with arts and crafts. There will be a large canvas available on the day for people to add something to, with the topic “What does Reconciliation look like to me.” Following this, on Thursday 31st March CAHMA and the Connection will be hosting a free BBQ and spray painting classes with Reconciliation the theme of the day. This event is open to anyone that wants to support ‘Reconciliation’.
Toora Women Inc.
Toora Women Inc. in partnership with Everyman Australia are planning on holding a "Don't keep our History a Mystery" Community BBQ on Wednesday the 23rd of May at the Cultural Centre in Yarramundi from 11.30 until 2pm. The day will include the following:
- Welcome to Country done by an Indigenous Elder
- Smoke Ceremony
- Story Telling
- Johnny Huckle
- Wombat Wobble
- Didgeridoo playing and dancing
- AFP Kenny Koala
- face painting
- Art and Craft activities e.g. rock painting, dot paintings and headband making
- Yarning Circle
- Tanya Keed
- Justin Church - school to work project officer
- Canberra Rape Crisis Centre - Nguru Program
Toora Women Inc. will also be showing Indigenous movie's leading up to Reconciliation Day and NAIDOC Week.
Woden Community Service: Lyons Children's Centre and Lollipop Early Learning Centre
Woden Community Service Children's Centres are celebrating Reconciliation Day with an excursion to Reconciliation Place in Parkes on Wednesday 30th of May 2018. We are taking our toddler to preschool children to Reconciliation Place to explore and engage with the sculptures and stories there. As part of our Narragunnawali we are exploring ways to get out into our community more, especially to engage with the Aboriginal cultural heritage of this area. It is also an excellent opportunity for our educators to put their training into practice around engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art with children. We have made this an event for our organisation, inviting other staff members and families to join us for lunch.