Reconciliation Resource – Resources to Support Engagement with National Reconciliation Week 2020
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey—
• 27 May 1967 – On this day, Australia’s most successful referendum 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 recognise them in the Census.
• 3 June 1992 – On this day, the Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision, the culmination of Eddie Koiki Mabo’s challenge to the legal fiction of ‘terra nullius’ (land belonging to no one) and leading to the legal recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of lands. This decision paved the way for Native Title.
The year 2020 also marks a couple of other key milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey, such as the 20th anniversary of the walks for reconciliation and the 20th anniversary of Reconciliation Australia’s role in shaping a just, equitable and reconciled nation. The 2020 theme for National Reconciliation Week is In this together. At the heart of the journey towards reconciliation are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and how these relationships can foster a positive sense of ‘coming together’ into the future.
As always, we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and Australians now benefit from the efforts and contributions of people committed to reconciliation in the past. Today, we are working together to further that national journey towards a full reconciled country. In a reconciled Australia, recognising and valuing the cultures, histories and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is essential to creating national unity.
It is encouraging to know that today, 79 per cent of Australians believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are important to Australia’s national identity, according to the 2018 Australian Reconciliation Barometer. Many Australians recognise we are In this together, and by each of us playing our part in our reconciliation journey, we are collectively building relationships and communities that actively value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures.
Part of any journey is reflecting on how far we have come. As we look back at the many fundamental milestones of the last 20 years – and preceding decades – of reconciliation, it is also a chance to celebrate the rich and diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures that have existed in our nation since time immemorial. Furthermore, now is an important time to think about the next 20 years of our reconciliation journey, and what milestones will bridge the efforts of the past with the hopes of the future.
Whether you are engaging in challenging conversations or unlearning and relearning what you know, we are all In this together. This National Reconciliation Week, we invite all Australians to bring your own strengths and contributions to our shared identity, and play your part in our national movement towards a reconciled, unified future.
To support these kinds of discussions and reflections at the Early Learning, Primary and Secondary school level, schools and early learning services can access the suite of Let’s Talk about the Theme for NRW, 2020 curriculum resources under the Celebrate National Reconciliation Week RAP Action page of Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali platform.
About the NRW 2020 Artwork and Poster
Biripi/Bunjalung artist, Nikita Ridgeway created the artwork on which the poster and wider design assets for NRW 2020 are based. The artwork is called, Reconciliation, a continuing journey of growth and togetherness. You can download a copy of the NRW 2020 poster and wider resouces via reconciliation.org.au/national-reconciliation-week/.
The design elements represent Australians together on a national journey of reconciliation, while paying homage to the past and recognising the present.
Reconciliation does not have one representational colour or symbol. Nikita acknowledges this, and is inspired by the respect and relationships First Nations peoples have for and with the natural world around them.
Nikita uses vibrant reds and purples to represent wild bush berries; browns and yellows for seeds collected for food; ochre for ceremony and culture; turquoise for our rivers and oceans; and black and brown for the scales and claws of animals that roam this land.
The symbols show Australians at different stages of the journey of reconciliation: the smaller dots and circles on the track represent the different stages of the journey of growth and constant connection.
The larger circles represent community. The track represents the story and the many ways reconciliation is celebrated throughout Australia.
• Visit https://nrw.reconciliation.org.au/ to access a range of NRW 2020 resources - this page is being regularly updated, so please keep checking back for more information and resources! Through this page, you can download a copy of the NRW 2020 poster to proudly display in your classroom, school or early learning service. Alternatively, for those ‘doing reconciliation remotely,’ you can display the poster in virtual spaces - as a desktop or video conference background; email signature; school or personal Facebook header or website banner; LinkedIn cover; or indeed any other virtual space you can think of! Be creative and don’t forget to share your ideas with your networks and with the Narragunnawali team!
• Compare the 2020 poster to previous NRW posters – how do these posters, and their respective written language and imagery, connect and build on each other from year to year? How do they help capture key messages and milestones at different points in Australia’s reconciliation journey and help to inspire our nation’s next most meaningful steps towards reconciliation?
• Register for our ‘Intro to Narragunnawali and NRW 2020’ webinar, which will be made available on-demand until the end of NRW 2020.
• Engage with the Early Learning, Primary and Secondary school Let’s Talk about the Theme for NRW, 2020 curriculum resources, as well as the wider resources, information and ideas shared under the Celebrate National Reconciliation Week RAP Action on the Narragunnawali platform
• Reflect on how the 2020 NRW theme and poster connects with the themes and posters of other days and weeks of national significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to reconciliation in Australia – such as the 2020 NAIDOC Week theme, Always Was, Always Will Be (please note that while NAIDOC Week has been postponed until later in 2020, it is an important week of national significance to reference from a holistic annual perspective).