This National Reconciliation Week, we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Land on which we stand. We acknowledge the (people) of the (nation) and pay our respects to Elders past and present and emerging.
Today marks the beginning of Reconciliation Week 2021 which runs from 27th May to 3 June every year. Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians, a journey connecting the relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Reconciliation week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how we can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
In the last year with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and increasing numbers at invasion day rallies more and more people are speaking up and raising their voices. For a lot of these individuals, mainly Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it’s exhausting both physically and emotionally for them to “educate” others and they shouldn’t have to carry this responsibility.
The time is now to start educating ourselves and there are plenty of resources out there. To start your educational journey why not head to blak business. Blak Business was founded by Olivia, a descendent from Wiradjuri Country, it's a “space that brings together information, knowledge and resources to facilitate broader learning and discussion about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander topics” You can also follow them on Instagram @blakbusiness. It's important for us to continue to educate ourselves throughout this journey.
This year’s theme for Reconciliation Week, More than a word. Reconciliation takes action, urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action. What does this mean? It’s about taking your awareness and knowledge (from self-education) and using it as a springboard to more fundamental, brave action.
The goals of reconciliation are to actively address issues of inequality, systemic racism and instances where the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are ignored, denied or reduced. However, to achieve these goals we must be more determined than ever to take action.
Are you ready to take action? Below are some tips to get you started during and beyond National Reconciliation Week.
Call Out Racism
Racism damages lives and livelihoods, call it out when you hear or see it and have those difficult conversations with family and friends.
Create Culturally Safe Places
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are not always made to feel welcome or safe. Seek cultural awareness training and ensure your school or workplace is a welcoming and safe place.
Challenge our leaders to take action of justice
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People's are the most incarcerated people on the planet. Stand with First Peoples to lower incarceration rates and share campaigns such as Change the Record and Raise the Age.
There are plenty more ways to get involved right now and take action for reconciliation. Head to the Reconciliation Australia website to read the full list.
It's time to join the conversation, ask the hard questions and move from Safe to Brave this National Reconciliation Week.
Some great references: