Celebrating Reconciliation Week at Strathnairn and The Link

Ginninderry acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

It has been 25 years since the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation was established and during that time countless people have dedicated their life’s work to the reconciliation movement.

Reconciliation Week 2018 provides an opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation.

Here in Canberra there are some great ways to learn. At Belconnen Community Gallery, part of Belconnen Community Service, you can go to “Journeys”, a mixed media exhibition of works exploring the artistic journeys of a group of indigenous and non-indigenous women in celebration of Reconciliation. At the National Portrait Gallery you can create a #deadlyselfie with ‘Mirawarri’, a Walpiri Indigenous selfie app developed by the Warnayaka Art Centre. At Glebe Park we have the ACT Schools Reconciliation Challenge. Students are invited to engage with Aboriginal artists – Paint on the ‘Community Canvas’ – Join in the Art Workshop – Have your face painted with ochres.

Perhaps the most exciting exhibition is “Clay Stories” right here at Strathnairn Arts Association. The exhibition includes innovative contemporary ceramic artworks from Ernabella Arts in APY Lands, Erub Arts in the Torres Strait, Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre in Far North Queensland, Hermannsburg Potters in the Central Desert and Tiwi Design on Bathurst Island.

Another milestone reached in 2018 is the 10 year anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generation and in recognition of this here at The Link, people have been invited to respond to the question “How can you contribute to make it better for our Aboriginal mob?”  Post it notes and pens were available for people to make their comments. Here is what they said:

  • Stop tolerating racist comments and jokes
  • Learn more about Aboriginal people
  • Support Indigenous people to get into parliament
  • I extend warmth and good wishes to all First Nations Peoples
  • Educate the local community – talks etc. @ the Link
  • I strongly recommend the movie “Sweet Country” as a way to increase understanding and compassion for generational trauma
  • Donate/Fundraise for Indigenous Literacy Foundation for preschool kids
  • Audio tours, guided tours, signage with Indigenous uses and names of flora and fauna and landscape eg stones and uses and their sources with examples. Signs of use of land eg scar trees. Walks to river or drives
  • Support and empower the young ones to develop pride and hope
  • All school students learn the local Indigenous language
  • I will help lower CVD. Heart Support Australia
  • Empower young people
  • Support cultural education
  • A ‘funrazer’
  • Include Aboriginal people in Landcare
  • Dedicated health services for Aboriginal people
  • Listen to what Indigenous Australians say and then learn from them
  • Having been active in Reconciliation since 1998 I commit to continuing a personal journey of respectful engagement and learning
  • And learning from Aboriginal people as expert custodians of country in both my formal and informal circles
  • Ask a local Indigenous person to tell their life story – and listen
  • The colour of blood is……….and the earth can speak

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