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Reconciliation Week: Be Brave. Make Change.

By Andrew York, Executive Manager, Community Engagement Services

The theme of this year’s National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June) is “Be Brave. Make Change.” It’s a challenge to all Australians – individuals, families, communities, organisations and government – to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of Reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians.

Vinnies acknowledges Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all its staff, volunteers and members as we move forward, creating an organisation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. If you are interested in reading the Vinnies Reconciliation Action Plan, click here.

This year, due to COVID, Vinnies is not holding a large gathering, but I would encourage you to try and attend a National Reconciliation Week event which can be found here.

Did you know?

The beginning and end dates of Reconciliation Week commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey.

On 27 May 1967, 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.

On 3 June 1992, 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 artwork featured above was created by Yilka artist Rosie Paine, a Noongar/Yamatji/Wongutha woman.

The artwork features three circles that are connected by blue lines, which at its centre, represents Lake Joondalup in the northern suburbs of Perth, which is an important area to Noongar people.