National Reconciliation Week is held every year, from May 27 to June 3. These dates are significant to the Indigenous community; May 27 commemorates the 1967 referendum when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were given the right to vote and counted as part of the census for the first time; and June 3 is known as ‘Mabo Day’, and is the anniversary of Eddie Mabo and the Meriam people’s hard won 1992 victory in the courts for the first Native Title claim, and the overturning of the ‘terra nullius’ myth.
The theme this year was “Don’t Make History a Mystery: Learn. Share. Grow.” Mary MacKillop College hosted lunchtime activities for the students to engage in, with the theme of reconciliation. The most popular event was the creation of an artwork featuring the Aboriginal flag using handprints in black, red and yellow. Students also participated in watching the movie ‘The Sapphires’ in the Auditorium and learning one of the songs from the movie in the Yorta Yorta language. Details about history and culture were read out in the bulletin, Prayers were said for ‘Sorry Day’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were flown alongside the Australian flag all week on our flagpole.
Many Australians feel discomfort around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people simply because they don’t have the chance to engage with them on a daily basis in their sphere, and aren’t sure if they are doing or saying the right things. Last week, the Victorian Government released a new website to increase dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, where anyone can submit questions anonymously to be answered by Aboriginal people. It is an interesting resource worth having a look at: https://deadlyquestions.vic.gov.au/
If you are interested in learning more about the Kaurna people, the custodians of the Adelaide Plains region, visit this website: https://www.cityofadelaide.com.au/your-community/culture-history/kaurna/
Victoria Coxhill & Martina O’Connell
Music/Drama Teacher (and proud Taungurung woman) & Year 10 Pastoral Care Co-ordinator