At our Reconciliation Liturgy last Friday, we gathered to unite our hearts with First Nations communities as we recognised and reflected on the wrongs that have been done in the past and take actions towards healing for the future. Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations and importantly as a nation.
During Reconciliation week remember that 26th May, May 27 and June 3 are important dates in Australia’s history.
The 26th May is National Sorry Day. On this day we remember and commemorate that during the 20th Century, large numbers of Aboriginal people were removed from their families by the government and put into institutions, missions and foster homes. Because of this many people lost contact with their heritage, their country and their identity. They have become know as the Stolen Generation. We recognise how this history continues to affect so many First Nation families. The day is an opportunity for all Australians to remember past mistakes and build stronger bridges for a richer, stronger future together.
Reconciliation Week goes from 27th May to 3rd June. May 27th marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum when Australians voted to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution that discriminated against First Nations peoples. June 3 marks the historic 1992 Mabo decision in which the High Court of Australia recognised native title—the recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights over their lands.
The theme for this year’s Reconciliation week is “More than words, Reconciliation takes action”.
Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all of us so we can move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community and First Nations peoples.
As part of taking action for reconciliation we have potted some Dessert Roses to keep here at the school. The flower of this plant has been chosen by the Stolen Generation elders as a symbol of strength and resilience. The colour symbolises healing. It is our hope that we will make a reconciliation garden here at school ready in time for next years Reconciliation week.
We will care for these plants in pots until we can plant them in our reconciliation garden this time next year.