Classrooms were abuzz this week with activities to help students of all cultural backgrounds reflect on the past and look towards to the future as a unified nation.
National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about the country’s shared histories, cultures and achievements.
The week is celebrated on the same dates each year from May 27 to June 3, as these dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.
Australian Christian College Darling Downs principal Jacqui Burrage said the school recognises that the week is a significant time for our nation’s first people.
“I feel it is important for our school community to recognise National Reconciliation Week to highlight key aspects of the school curriculum, including history, health and English,” she said.
“The curriculum provides the opportunity for our community to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures and reconciliation plays a significant part in this learning journey.”
Mrs Burrage said the students took part in an array of activities including making posters, writing poems, designing and making their own National Reconciliation logo for a bandana, looking into the history of the 1967 referendum and attending a whole school incursion with Koora-Middi.
“The year four to six students are much more aware of the impact that colonisation had on the environment and Aboriginal people’s lives,” she said.
“The students were genuinely relieved that they could contribute to the reconciliation process and demonstrated respect through their bandana logo designs.”
State Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt said this year’s reconciliation theme “Grounded in truth, walk together with courage” is a reminder to all that acknowledging the truth of the past is the key to building better relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people now and into the future.
“I encourage everyone to take that message on board and to participate in Reconciliation Week activities,” he said.