National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to contribute to building a reconciled Australia.
In 1993 National Reconciliation Week started as the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation and was supported by Australia’s major religious groups. Under the guidance of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (now Reconciliation Australia), it evolved into the week-long celebration that it is today. Every year, it is held between two significant milestones in Australia’s history, May 27 and June 3. May 27 is the anniversary of the 1967 referendum in which more than 90 per cent of Australians voted ‘Yes’ to count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the census and give the Australian Government the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The day before National Reconciliation Week, 26 May, is National Sorry Day, which was first held in Sydney in 1998 and is now commemorated nationally to remember and honour the Stolen Generations. June 3 marks the historic 1992 Mabo decision in which the High Court of Australia recognised native title – the recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights over their lands did survive British colonisation.
As a school we reflected on these events and the meaning of reconciliation through stage-based liturgies in the Christian Brother Chapel. The aim of our liturgies is to reflect on our nation’s history and raise awareness about what reconciliation means as well as encouraging of boys to create a positive change.
This year during National Reconciliation Week, Reconciliation Australia invites all Australians to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation.
“Don’t Keep History A Mystery: Learn. Share. Grow” explores history hidden just beneath the surface, ready and waiting to be uncovered. This National Reconciliation Week learn more about the Australian story.
This year’s campaign highlights some of the lesser known aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, histories, cultures, and achievements, to prompt Australians to ask themselves: what are some of the things I don’t know about our shared history?
Reconciliation involves building positive, respectful relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for the benefit of all Australians. St Dominic’s College as an inclusive community recognise the traditional ownership of the land and we seek to embrace the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples of Australia and of our local community.
Through the love of our God may we seek to respect all cultures and build a better future for the whole nation.
Indigenous Education Coordinator / PDHPE Teacher
Director of Identity