Monday 30 May 2022

National Reconciliation Week

On Thursday 26 May we launched National Reconciliation Week. We were fortunate to have Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Zeta Thomson deliver the Welcome to Country at both The Ridgeway Campus and Plenty Campus with her niece Carli singing us on to Country. Her daughters Nicole and Simone performed the Smoking Ceremonies and shared knowledge of its significance with students and staff. The Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremonies were a beautiful way to start the week’s events and celebrations.

‘It was great to see all members of our community engaging so respectfully in our Smoking Ceremony and so eagerly in our Welcome to Country. The message throughout the week has been clear, that First Nations culture is part of our country, therefore it is a culture for all Australians to share,’ said Director of Co-Curricular Learning Chris Branigan.

The theme this year is Be Brave. Make Change. The week officially runs across Australia from Friday 27 May to Friday 3 June.

Year 7 student Inés thoroughly enjoyed the events on Friday. ‘Students and teachers coming together to listen to heartfelt and meaningful stories assists everyone to learn about and respect our culture, helping reconciliation.  As a Kalkadoon girl, I was very proud to be a part of the school assembly after the Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony by Wurundjeri Elder, Aunty Zeta Thompson,’ she said.

Year 7 student and Indigenous scholar Shikora explained what National Reconciliation Week means to her. ‘To me, it means a time to make others aware of our culture, our way of life and how I’d like things to be better for me in the future.’

Year 12 student and Global Engagement Prefect, Eva shared her thoughts on National Reconciliation Week.

‘National Reconciliation Week is an opportunity to learn about Indigenous culture and celebrate its origins. This year’s theme is to ‘be brave and make change.’ As a school and global perfect team we plan to make indigenous culture and recognition more prevalent across our school community.  As a non-indigenous Australian,  National Reconciliation Week gives me an opportunity to further my knowledge and understanding of indigenous history and culture. Indigenous culture deserves a strong voice across Australia as we plan to broaden our historical knowledge beyond the British -Australian perception, with a more prevalent focus on indigenous history. Indigenous wisdom on treatment of land and people is something that all Australians should take on, as their knowledge should play an important role in sustaining land and sustainable practices. I can’t wait to see the progress we make as a school community following the upcoming reconciliation events.’

National Reconciliation Week is a time for our school community to acknowledge the past, learn about indigenous culture and explore how we can all play a part in working toward reconciliation. Throughout National Reconciliation Week we will celebrate indigenous culture through sport, art and storytelling of knowledge and culture. Our indigenous scholars will play a vital part in sharing their knowledge with us.