Reconciliation in the Media
From May to July, National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week events were held across Australia to celebrate
the histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and our nation’s reconciliation
journey. During this period, many stories celebrating and reflecting on these themes were shared across social, print and
Use the below news stories as conversation starters with colleagues, parents and students to help think about what
reconciliation means to you and your school or service community.
Coinciding with National Reconciliation
Week, this year’s Vivid festival transformed the sails
of the Sydney Opera House into an animated canvas
of Indigenous art. This celebration of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander spirituality and culture focused
on the songlines of our land and sky. The theme of
NAIDOC Week was also Songlines and prompted
Guardian journalist Paul Daley to discuss how the
concept of Songlines challenges non-Indigenous
Australians’ thinking about history. NITV also recently
released a landmark documentary series called
Songlines on Screen, which is an ideal resource for
How can Songlines inform and
challenge the way non-Indigenous people learn and
think about Australian history?
Stronger Smarter approach
Professor Chris Sarra
was recently named NAIDOC Person of the Year at
the 2016 NAIDOC awards in Darwin. Chris was the
first Aboriginal principal at Cherbourg State School
in South East Queensland in 1998, where he
developed his ‘Stronger Smarter’ philosophy.
The philosophy encourages students to be both
strong in their cultural identity and smart by making
the most of their educational opportunities, and has
proved to have dramatic outcomes. Chris went on
to establish the Stronger Smarter Institute which
promotes the Stronger Smarter approach with
teachers, educators and community leaders across
What are some of the core
strategies of the Stronger Smarter approach and why
are they seeing such success?
Success for Indigenous candidates in the federal election
A record number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates ran in the federal election on 2 July, with the current proportion of Indigenous Members of Parliament almost being representative of the general population. Among the successful candidates are WA Labor Senator Pat Dodson, NT Labor Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, Ken Wyatt (who retained the seat of Hasluck in WA) and former NSW deputy Labor leader Linda Burney, who claimed victory in the southern Sydney seat of Barton. Burney made history as the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to the House of Representatives and the first woman to win the seat of Barton.
Who are the Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander leaders of your local community?