National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The Week runs from 27 May to 3 June every year. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

Top 3 things to do to celebrate National Reconciliation Week this year

There are many ways to celebrate National Reconciliation Week. Here are three simple things you can do:

Hosting an event

This year’s theme ‘In this together’ has a resonance beyond that Reconciliation Australia probably imagined when the theme was announced early this year. Even though some of us may not be physically together, it’s still hugely important that we get together socially and make space to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation.

It’s appropriate and respectful to start your event with an Acknowledgement of Country.

Having a conversation is a really important part of what Reconciliation Week is all about. You might like to kick off the conversation by sharing or talking about some music, activities, a video, a podcast or a book (some great resources below) – and talk about what struck you, what you agreed with and what you were challenged by. Or try these conversation starters:

  • Reconciliation is important to me but what can I do?
  • An Acknowledgement of Country always sounds formulaic to me
  • My kids know more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories than I do
  • When I think about Aboriginal cultures I immediately think of ancient cultures
  • What is the Uluru Statement from the Heart all about?

It’s also important to recognise that Reconciliation doesn’t just happen in Reconciliation Week and for some teams it may be better to hold virtual events outside of this week or to better explore our shared histories, cultures, and achievements later in the year.

What reconciliation means to us

Resources

Online activities and resources

Share Our Pride (interactive learning from Reconciliation Australia)

Timeline of Trauma and Healing in Australia

Music in language

Skinnyfish Sound System, ‘Smoking Ceremony’ B2M, Birdz & Tasman Keith are saying it is time for a cleansing national Smoking Ceremony

Emily Wurramara, ‘NgarrukwujenamaThe title is the Anindilyakwa word for “I’m hurting” , the song was written in response to mining on Groote Eylandt

Black Arm Band ‘Far Away From Home/GungalairaFrom the award-winning film The Tracker

Short videos

Keep our languages alive: Kylie Farmer TEDxManly

A real history of Aboriginal Australians, the first agriculturalists: Bruce Pascoe TEDxSydney

Who We Are, Josh Toomey

Who We Are, Miranda Tapsell

Podcasts

Rachel Perkins 2019 Boyer Lectures, ABC

Australia’s first (and all-Aboriginal) international cricket team on Awaye! with Daniel Browning, ABC (1 February 2020, from 34:36mins)

Samantha Harris (Australian fashion model) (Ep 13) of The Real

Books – non-fiction

‘Talking to my Country’, Stan Grant (2016)

‘Dark Emu’, Bruce Pascoe (2014)

Am I Black Enough for You?’ Anita Hess (2012)

Books – fiction

‘The Yield’, Tara June Winch (2019)

‘Mullumbimby’, Melissa Lucashenko (2013)

‘The Swan Book’, Alexis Wright (2013)

Hot Tip for readers: you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free from your local library using BorrowBox

Sharing on Social

Please share photos, video or comments from your event on social media using the hashtags #NRW2020 #NSWDoERAP or #GreatPlaceToWork. (Remember to get permission from the people involved before you share anything.)

Instructions for changing your Zoom virtual background

Download the National Reconciliation Week Zoom Background (JPG 375KB)

Enabling virtual background

  • Download the Zoom app
  • Click on the cog located in the top right corner
  • Select virtual background
  • Upload your National Reconciliation Week background
  • Make sure you have unselected ‘I have a green screen’ and ‘mirror my video’.
  • If you are unable to unselect 'I have a green screen', try and position yourself against a blank wall and wear a contrasting colour. This is an operating system error - and you may like to select something else to mark National Reconciliation Week.

Contact and joining the conversation

For any queries please contact: rap@det.nsw.edu.au.

Everyone in the department is welcome to join the Yammer ‘Reconciliation Action Plan Group’ it’s a great place to join in the conversation around reconciliation.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders employees are warmly invited to join the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network, contact Darren.Bell@det.nsw.edu.au

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