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Home > News > 2019 > May > National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week

Topics : Reconciliation

This week marks National Reconciliation Week and IEUA-QNT Chapters have held events to demonstrate our union’s support for First Nations peoples, culture and communities. NRW_Poster.JPG

This year’s theme, Grounded in Truth. Walk together with Courage, focuses on the heart of reconciliation – the relationship between the broader Australian community and First Nations peoples. 

To foster positive race relations, this relationship must be grounded in truth. 

First Nations peoples have long called for a comprehensive process of truth-telling about Australia’s colonial history.

The historical wounds inflicted upon the First Nations community need to be acknowledged and addressed truthfully, so that Australia as a whole can heal and move forward together. 

According to the 2018 Australian Reconciliation Barometer, 80% of Australians believe it is important to undertake formal truth telling processes. 

Australians are ready to come to terms with our history as a crucial step towards a unified future, in which we understand, value and respect each other. 

Whether you’re engaging in challenging conversations or unlearning and relearning what you know, this journey requires all of us to walk together with courage. 

This National Reconciliation Week, Reconciliation Australia invites Australians from all backgrounds to contribute to our national movement towards a unified future.

Take part in National Reconciliation Week 

IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said National Reconciliation Week is a time to reflect on the past and look towards fostering positive relationships into the future. 

Following the achievements of our union’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), IEUA-QNT members gathered on Monday 27 May to work on our union’s second RAP.  

Participate in NRW, this week by:

  • Holding a celebratory morning tea or school assembly; 
  • Supporting and encouraging attendance of staff and students at local NRW events; 
  • Capturing photos of Chapter celebrations for inclusion in our unions publications; and 
  • Considering to join our union’s RAP Working Group or Yarning Circle. 

Mr Burke said that our union is dedicated to promoting reconciliation internally as an organisation and externally through our schools and communities. 

“The RAP Working Group and Yarning Circle meetings are ongoing commitments to listen, learn and collaborate on how our union supports First Nations peoples. 

“Our union is also seeking the establishment of a more comprehensive paid Cultural Leave Entitlement for First Nations employees, separate from other existing forms of leave, in the current Queensland Catholic school bargaining.” 

RAP_Working_Group.png

The history of Reconciliation 

NRW runs annually from 27 May to 3 June; bookended by two significant milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey – the 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision

NRW started as the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation in 1993 which was the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People and was supported by Australia’s major faith communities. 

In 1996, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation launched Australia’s first ‘National Reconciliation Week’. 

In 2000, Reconciliation Australia was established to continue to provide national leadership on reconciliation.

The same year, approximately 300,000 people walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of NRW, showing support for the reconciliation process.

Today NRW is celebrated by communities, businesses and individuals at thousands of events across Australia.

Our next Yarning Circle is Monday 6 June and our next RAP Working Group is Monday 22 July. 

For more information on our unions RAP and Yarning Circle contact Adele Schmidt at aschmidt@qieu.asn.au or visit www.qieu.asn.au/rap 

Image 1: NRW Poster 2019
Imange 2: IEUA-QNT's RAP Working Group

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.