National Reconciliation Week

BBQ Kangaroo Tasting and Art Project – Our National Reconciliation Week Event 

On Wednesday 1st June our Indigenous student group and friends hosted a lunchtime event with BBQ kangaroo and damper tasting. An all-student and staff art banner was created for the College. We screened video clips with musicians singing Indigenous stories and supporting Indigenous rights. 

Students, staff and youth development officers worked together to set the food table up outside the art room decorated with cloth and gum leaves. They hung student-painted posters, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags and bunting the Indigenous students made last year.  Ms Sarah Perry and a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students designed the banner and oversaw the hand printing.

In glorious sunshine, more than 200 students and staff came to taste the food, have a yarn and put their hand print on the banner. While the banner isn’t quite finished, student and staff participation in its creation certainly represents Reconciliation at Whittlesea Secondary College.

Behind the scenes many people helped to bring this event together. Our food tech teachers leant us equipment, maintenance staff set up the BBQ and helped clean-up, the art department provided the paint, Ms Perry’s art students prepared the banner with sealer and the Principal team encouraged it. Student managers and teachers participated and allowed students time out of class to help. Our Chaplain was actively involved before and during, our Hands On Learning students washed and dried our dishes, Mr Rob Mitchell MP donated the flags and the City of Whittlesea enabled their staff to be involved. Many of our Indigenous and non-Indigenous students helped before, during and after.

We are most thankful to have the continuous support from the City of Whittlesea for the expertise and hands on help from Youth Development Officers, Donna Wright (Aboriginal Liaison Officer) and Hans Gregory.  Donna and Hans gave hours of their time as they planned, shopped, set up, decorated, cooked, yarned and cleaned.  

National Reconciliation Week 27 May-3 June

Each year National Reconciliation Week (NRW) celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. The dates that bookend the week are significant milestones in the reconciliation journey.

May 27—Marks the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and a defining event in our nation’s history. The 1967 referendum saw over 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise them in the national census.

3 June—Commemorates the High Court of Australia’s landmark Mabo decision in 1992, which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship to the land—a relationship that existed prior to colonalisation and still exists today. This recognition paved the way for land rights or Native Title. See www.reconciliation.org.au for more information.

 

Helen Heaney

Indigenous Education Coordinator