Actively listening to Indigenous Voices this Reconciliation Week

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The theme of this year’s National Reconciliation Week is More than a word, Reconciliation takes Action, urging all Australians to take meaningful steps towards reconciliation.

Baw Baw Shire Council is encouraging the community to take action by exploring the work of author, artist and local Kurnai woman, Dr Aunty Eileen Harrison and listening to her story.

Council commissioned Dr Aunty Eileen Harrison to create exclusive artwork for Council’s 2021 National Reconciliation Week flags, which are now flying in Warragul, Drouin, Neerim South, Trafalgar, Longwarry, and Yarragon.

The artwork represents connection to family, land, and country.

In addition to the public artwork, Council has partnered with West Gippsland Libraries to deliver an author and artist talk with Dr Aunty Eileen Harrison, co-author of ‘Black Swan,’ which documents her story and journey from her early years on the Lake Tyers mission, her years in Warragul and her discovery of her talent as a painter.

Event: Author Talk with Dr Aunty Eileen Harrison

Time: 2pm

Date: Monday 31 May

Location: Fountain Room – West Gippsland Arts Centre, Civic Place, Warragul.

This is a free event and everyone is welcome. Register here.

National Reconciliation Week is held annually from 27 May to 3 June, commemorating two important milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey – the referendum on 27 May, 1967, when Australians voted to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the census, and the historic Mabo decision that recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have rights to the land on 3 June,1992.

Quotes attributable to Dr Aunty Eileen Harrison:

“I am so proud to see my art on display in towns across Baw Baw. I was inspired by the connection I have to my granddaughter and great grandson, who was born here in Warragul.”

Quotes attributable to Mayor Councillor Danny Goss:

“One of the most important things we can do in the journey towards reconciliation is listen.

“Dr Aunty Eileen Harrison is a talented local author and artist with a deep connection to the region. I invite everyone to pause and admire her artwork or register to attend the talk to see more art and hear some of her story.”

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