What is National Reconciliation Week?
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) takes places annually from 27 May to 3 June: two important dates in the Indigenous calendar. It is time dedicated to growing respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. NRW is an opportunity to learn more about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and how we can work together towards reconciliation.
Why is reconciliation important?
Reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians for the benefit of all. Learning more about our shared histories and cultures is essential for the work of healing and reconciliation.
Archaeological evidence shows that Indigenous people have lived in Australia for at least 60,000 years. When Europeans arrived, colonial law, policies and practices affected Indigenous people to devastating impact – causing much of the disadvantage that still exists today.
Healing and reconciliation requires all Australians to first truthfully and respectfully acknowledge the past and then take action to build positive and fair relationships with one another for a stronger future together.
What role does SMCT play in reconciliation?
SMCT acknowledges and has been working with Traditional Owners and community to foster meaningful relationships and understanding. As part of our journey we:
- Drafted a Reconciliation Action Plan that will be launched in coming months to guide our approach to reconciliation across SMCT.
- Encourage use of an Acknowledgement of Country at key meetings and gatherings.
- Work with Traditional Owners at key events, recognising our shared histories and futures.
- Acknowledge key dates in the Indigenous calendar such as National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.
SMCT’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) sets out practical actions to ensure we have a good understanding of community wants and needs, and what steps we can take to establish strong relationships. It includes commitments to training, policy reviews, signage and other measures so we can take meaningful and informed steps together.
What can I do to support National Reconciliation Week?
You can start your own journey of reconciliation at any time, but there are a lot of additional resources available and events taking place during National Reconciliation Week.
As part of our RAP, SMCT will develop more resources and host National Reconciliation Activities on site in future. An email with some of these actions will be shared shortly.
Where can I learn more?
There are so many resources available to support your learning journey towards reconciliation. The most important thing is to make sure they are credible resources.
The ABC has compiled a list of teaching resources available that is a great first start – including links to films and documentaries, maps and other resources compiled by credible external agencies. Listen widely and use First Nations and reliable sources to guide you.
As we get closer to the referendum on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament it will become even more important to make sure you understand the issues and can vote with your conscience.
To get you started, these two resources have been recommended by Evolve Communities:
Reading, viewing and listening credibly and broadly is key to understanding any issue.
A RAP Supporters Group, in addition to those working specifically on RAP projects as a RAP Working Group, will be created to share and discuss Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters at SMCT.
If you’d like to be involved in SMCT’s reconciliation journey, you can reach out to email@example.com.
What is reconciliation?
National Reconciliation Week fact sheet