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As we approach Reconciliation Week (May 27 to June 3), I want to take a moment to reflect on the significance of reconciliation and what it means for us as a School and a community.

Reconciliation is an active journey of building respectful and meaningful relationships. Reconciliation Week, is an opportunity for us to reflect on this relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians; the historical injustices faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to learn about our shared histories and cultures and to foster healing and unity.

The first day of Reconciliation Week – Monday May 27 - marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum, which saw more than 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Australian Government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and include them in the census. The final day of Reconciliation Week – Monday June 3 - commemorates the historic 1992 Mabo decision, which legally recognised First Nations peoples’ special relationship to the land that existed before colonisation and still exists today.

This year’s theme is ‘Now more than ever’, which reminds us that reconciliation is unfinished business and an ongoing commitment we must make.
As an Anglican school, we understand reconciliation in a broader, spiritual context as well. Christian reconciliation teaches us about the restoration of relationships through forgiveness and love, inspired by the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:18, it is written, ‘All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.’ This perspective aligns with our commitment to fostering understanding and harmony within our community.

Let us use Reconciliation Week as a springboard for continuous learning and engagement, ensuring that reconciliation is not just a week-long event but a year-round commitment to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and each other.

Everyone has the right to feel respected, valued, and heard.

“It is not ‘forgive and forget’ as if nothing wrong had ever happened, but ‘forgive and go forward’, building on the mistakes of the past and the energy generated by reconciliation to create a new future.”
- anti-apartheid activist Alan Paton

Michele Wakeham