The city council acknowledges Reconciliation Week
THE City of Greater Geelong is acknowledging National Reconciliation Week with online projections displaying the artwork of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the region.
National Reconciliation Week has taken place between May 27 to June 3, with this year’s theme ‘more than a word – reconciliation takes action’.
The city’s digital projections will run over the significant milestones in the reconciliation journey including National Sorry Day that took place on May 26, the anniversary of the successful 1967 referendum on May 27 and Mabo Day on June 3.
CEO of Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation Paul Davis said he was pleased to see local action.
“Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation is proud to work with many groups and organisations across Wadawurrung Country that regard Reconciliation as more than a word,” he said.
“Meaningful and proper reconciliation begins with genuinely and respectfully acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands we are on.”
Since the intensifying of COVID-19 restrictions the city has filmed the two shows to encourage people to view them from home.
Community members will also be able to watch the Ngal-ngal-la – meaning ‘reconciliation’ in Wadawurrung language – in an online exhibition via the council website.
The artwork features more than 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists created on Wadawurrung Country and facilitated through ‘The Torch”, which provides new pathways for Indigenous offenders by exploring identity and culture.
Chair of the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio, Cr Jim Mason, thanked the artists for providing an opportunity to recognise National Reconciliation Week.
“I encourage community members to develop a better and deeper understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the importance of taking actions towards reconciliation,” he said.
“Council also reflects on the sad and painful history of the Stolen Generations and recognise moments of resilience, healing and the power of saying sorry.”
The projections have been developed in partnership with Barwon Water, Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative, The Torch and Department of Justice and Community Safety.
Mayor Stephanie Asher said council would continue to make meaningful actions.
Last year, council adopted its first Reflect-Reconciliation Action Plan which included displaying Acknowledgment of Country plaques in municipal buildings, renaming the Kareenga Aboriginal Advisory Committee to the Kilangitj Aboriginal Advisory Committee and conducting consultations with Traditional Owners on the use of Wadawurrung language in naming the new civic precinct.
“Reconciliation is imperative for our whole community and is something we as a council are committed to being part of,” Cr Asher said.
“Since our first Reconciliation Action Plan was adopted, we continue on our journey of reconciliation and commitment as a council, organisation and community.”