This year, Bawurra Foundation acknowledged National Reconciliation Week with several posts from Jesse Slok, our co-Founder and Chairman, and Foundation elder Uncle Phil Duncan. This Year’s theme for National Reconciliation Week is ‘Grounded in Truth, Walk Together with Courage.’
“National Reconciliation Week provides an opportunity for us to celebrate how far we have come on our journey towards reconciliation, but most importantly, it drives the conversation of what work still remains.
“For me, this work involves closing the health gap, further introducing culture and language into the classroom and ensuring that every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child has a fair chance at the life they deserve.
“This week, take an opportunity to ask yourself the question - “‘What does a reconciled Australia look like to me?’”
“Reconciliation means a range of different things to me personally and professionally.
“‘The past is relevant today’– we need to understand the past and the many injustices that took place from total massacres to dispossession and relocation from country and disconnection to ‘culture.’
“These events have shaped the plight of Aboriginal Australia to where we are today.
“To achieve true Reconciliation we need to continue to acknowledge the past as the mistakes made in yesteryear. Aboriginal Australia needs our non-Aboriginal champions to call out bad practices and stand with Aboriginal people and community and to say we need more action on the ground where it really matters.
“Strong sustainable relationships based on respect and inclusion is the way forward. Championing self-determination where Aboriginal Australia are in control of our own destiny and the continued march towards equality.
“To quote former Prime Minister Paul Keating – ‘Reconciliation Action Plans are your license to do business with Aboriginal Australia, don’t do it because you feel obligated to do so, do it because you want to make a difference’.”
Uncle Phil Duncan- Gomeroi Elder, Aboriginal Cultural Training Coordinator at Walanga Muru - Macquarie University.