National Reconciliation Week
Linking with the special significance of National Reconciliation Week and the Year Four Geography Curriculum, the students in U1, U2 and U6 participated in learning activities to build their understandings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s, connection to country.
The students listened to audio recordings of Nyoongar people, watched video material and read the story, You and Me, Murrawee. This lovely picture book is available in our school library and tells the story of two girls and their families who lived two hundred years apart.
Acknowledgement of Country was discussed, and the children were encouraged to imagine what life for Whadjuk children may have been like in the Subiaco area, before the arrival of European settlers.
They wrote messages of acknowledgement to these children and their families, in a bid to acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional owners of our land.
Their messages were heartfelt, and we hope you enjoy reading an abridged selection of them.
“Dear Whadjuk people, I would like to thank you for passing the stories on for thousands of years, and for keeping our country clean and safe – and I will do the same” Jarvis
“…Thank you for caring and leaving some of your world for us to take care of and see what you see.” Max
“…I think you are really brave to save the bush for more than forty thousand years.” Kosuke
“…On this Reconciliation Day I have learnt to understand your life and home. I know how you lived and how much you cared for Australia and its many landmarks. I think it is amazing how you managed to remember and pass on your stories without the internet.” Helen
“…I understand that this land feels very important to you. I love climbing through bushes and trees and exploring lots of parts in the theatre gardens, where there’s a little river with lots of plants and trees next to it … Natalie
“To the Whadjuk children and people - Thank you for caring for this beautiful country, Australia. I know you must have loved playing in the bush and jumping joyfully in the salty lakes. I would have loved to join you in those days.” Sejal
“ You cared for this land and you told stories. You never took too much and you helped the earth all you could – and never harmed it. I am one of many who respect you and your land….” Rose
“ Thank you… I don’t know much about Aboriginal culture but I know that in my country the people also call the Earth their mother, just like you. Respecting nature is a hard job, but you guys have proved you love your land…” From Nivya
National Reconciliation Week 2017: Let’s Take The Next Steps
Each year National Reconciliation Week celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. It is held from 27 May to 3 June each year. Preceded by National Sorry Day on 26 May, it is bookended by two key events in Australia’s history, which provide strong symbols for reconciliation:
• 27 May 1967 – the referendum that saw more than 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Australian Government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise them in the census.
• 3 June 1992 – the Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision, which recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a special relationship with the land. This paved the way for land rights or Native Title
This National Reconciliation Week, we reflect on two significant anniversaries in our nation’s reconciliation journey—50 years since the 1967 referendum and 25 years since the historic Mabo decision.