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2020 Reconciliation Week - Message from the A/Head of Aboriginal Affairs
National Reconciliation Week, held each year from May 27 – June 3, is always a powerful time for our community as we grow connections between the Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Continuing on the healing theme from National Sorry Day (May 26), which observes the first public recognition of the Stolen Generations and the trauma that they endured, it’s important that we commemorate and share the historic milestones in our history that have helped to enable reconciliation across the country.
In my first Reconciliation Week message as A/Head Aboriginal Affairs NSW, this year’s theme of In This Together could not be more appropriate, as we reflect on the resilience that we’ve seen in everyone in recent times – despite everything that’s been thrown at us.
I am incredibly proud of how you have all continued to stay connected with each other and across our communities, using innovative approaches and expanding your own technology skills along the way.
I know I have been really touched by stories I’ve heard in recent months, of the effort that people are going through to look out for one another during COVID-19. I know we’re not through it all yet, but this has all given me confidence in how we will do so!
Our response to COVID-19, driven by the principles of OCHRE, has ensured that Aboriginal community voices have been heard and interests represented. By working together, NSW Aboriginal community leadership and the NSW Government have co-produced solutions resulting in a number of initiatives that have contributed to keeping our mobs safe.
Each day by working side by side with the Aboriginal community, everyone at Aboriginal Affairs NSW helps to influence real change in Australia that will make a lasting difference for reconciliation.
So this year, while we can’t come together to reflect and share this experience as we’d like to do, let’s go about it a different way, and use this opportunity to make it count in new ways.
There’s lot of ways you can help show you’re #InThisTogether2020 this National Reconciliation Week, including:
- connecting online for the National Acknowledgement of Country at 12pm Wednesday 27 May
- changing your Zoom background for any meetings for the week (DoE has one here, and there’s more here)
- joining the ABC’s live debate: Reconciliation Bridge Walks of 2000: Paving the path for reconciliation (Facebook Livestream on Reconciliation Australia and ABC Australia Facebook pages) 12pm Thursday 28 May
- sitting down for Mabo - the remarkable life story of Eddie 'Koiki' Mabo; a Torres Strait Islander who left school at the age of 15, yet spearheaded the High Court challenge that overthrew the fiction of terra nullius – available to watch on ABC iview here, starring Deborah Mailman, Jimi Bani, Ewen Leslie and directed by Rachel Perkins
- checking out In Concert Together: Busby Marou, Alice Skye & Jimblah hosted by Christine Anu on Facebook Live and ABC Radio 9pm Friday 29 May.
There are a lot more suggestions on both the DoE portal, plus I recommend you visiting Reconciliation Australia’s website for a range of more information, links and resources.
Until we can all meet again in person – look after each other, and stay well.
A/Head of Aboriginal Affairs