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Reconciliation Week events promote respect and positive relationships - Part 2

Reconciliation Week events promote respect and positive relationships - Part 2

Reconciliation Week events promote respect and positive relationships - Part 2

8 June 2018

Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants planned and ran the Reconciliation Week celebrations at Dooralong Transformation Centre in NSW.

By Faye Michelson and Simone Worthing

The Salvation Army joined the wider Australian community in marking National Reconciliation Week, from 27 May-3 June. The theme of this week for 2018 was “Don’t Keep History a mystery”.

Corps and centres around the country promoted and facilitated respect, trust and positive relationships between and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community in a number of different ways.

A brief snapshot of National Reconciliation Week (NRW) celebrations in New South Wales and Victoria is presented below.
To read about events in the Queensland and Northern Territory, click here.

New South Wales

 

Dooralong Transformation Centre


Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the Dooralong Transformation Centre community came together on a number of occasions to plan and deliver an event that would capture Reconciliation Australia’s theme of 2018, “Don't keep history a mystery”, on 1 June.

The prayers for Reconciliation made into art.

“Participants organised activities for the community to engage in what would help its members learn more about Indigenous history in Australia, create a space where they could share personal stories and then offered opportunities for everyone to grow together as a nation, which contributes positively to the healing process,” said Christopher Edwards, Ministry and Family Worker at the centre.


The participants worked closely with The Salvation Army’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Coordinator in NSW, Sue Hodges, and with the support of Dooralong management and other staff, to plan and run the day.

The event began with a flag-raising ceremony and an acknowledgement of country of the traditional owners of the land, the Darkinjung people.

“We gave an explanation of what Reconciliation Week is and why it is important, and prayed for Reconciliation,” said Christopher.

“We viewed the stories of Indigenous people in Australia and commemorated the milestone events that brought changes into this country – the 1967 Referendum and the 1992 Mabo decision.

“The event concluded with a ceremony that offered an opportunity for the community to write their prayers of Reconciliation down. These prayers were then collated by the participants and made into a beautiful artwork that was presented to the Dooralong centre at chapel the following week.

“This is a great example of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working together to bring reconciliation to Australian communities.”


Victoria


The Moonee Valley Corps Friendship Club members spent a reflective couple of hours discussing NRW last Wednesday 23 May.

Max Conlon's Birth of Jesus, one of the stunning artworks included in Our Mob, God's Story.

Corps Officer, Lieutenant Erin Mains, said the group started their meeting by recognising the original custodians of their land, the Wurundjeri, before looking through the Bible Society book Our Mob, God’s Story.

She said the book, featuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists sharing their faith through their art, was inspiring.

“We looked at the beautiful imagery and artwork created by indigenous Christians and talked in depth about the Wurundjeri people,” Erin said.

“Drawing on that for inspiration, we created our own prayer cards. It was very worthwhile time, giving us pause to think about what is going on in our community.”

The Salvation Army’s St Kilda Crisis Centrehosted a NRW community lunch with a Welcome to Country, music and sport as the focus of the day on 8 June.

The St Kilda Crisis Services Network (Vic.) organised the event, which took place at St Kilda’s Veg Out community kitchen and gardens.

“Our event was open for the whole community,” said Richard Sherman, Access Health’s assistant program manager. “Up to 50 people, including many of our indigenous clients, joined us for food, entertainment, sports, games art and prizes.”

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