Community events return to mark Reconciliation Day 2021

All Canberrans are invited to participate in the fourth annual Reconciliation Day community event to be held on 31 May at the National Arboretum.

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs said Reconciliation Day is a time for the Canberra community to come together in the spirit of Reconciliation.

“Reconciliation day is an opportunity for all Canberrans to learn about the histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“It is a time to respectfully engage in truth-telling and to think about our shared history and how it has shaped our society today,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 Reconciliation Day was recognised by Canberrans in their own homes, through online activities and content.

“I am really pleased to see the return of the community event this year. In previous years, our Reconciliation in the Park event has been held in Glebe Park. This year’s event will be a little different – being hosted at the Arboretum, providing a large open space for the community to come together and participate in activities which facilitate reflection, conversation and celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

Reconciliation Day event activities include:

  • live music from the Griffyn Ensemble, Wiradjuri Echoes, and Johnny Huckle
  • a yarning circle with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders
  • Ngunnawal language workshops
  • creative activities including basket weaving, butterfly craft, and sturt desert pea making
  • guided cultural walks through the forest
  • screening of a collection of short cultural and truth telling videos
  • a portrait exhibition and live panel discussion showcasing the stories of some of Canberra’s Elders and advocates for Reconciliation
  • bush tucker tastings
  • fun community games
  • a free barbeque.

In addition to the Reconciliation Day event, local community groups, schools and organisations will run workshops, activities, and events during Reconciliation Week.

These events are supported by the Reconciliation Day 2021 community grants program, which aims to promote and encourage more Canberrans to become involved in Reconciliation Week.

Reconciliation Australia’s theme for 2021 is More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.

“This theme reminds us that Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, businesses and organisations. We all have a role to play in achieving true reconciliation.

“Eight community projects have been funded as part of this grant program. All recipients have shown a real desire to promote a better understanding and learning about Reconciliation within their own communities,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

Reconciliation Day 2021 community grant recipients include:

  • Toora Women’s Aboriginal art workshop
  • Larry Brandy story telling workshops in association with the Beseda Czechoslovak Australian Association of Canberra
  • Wiradjuri Echoes cultural workshop
  • Baringa Childcare Centre Reconciliation Day workshop
  • Canberra Oceania Community Alliance forum
  • Living Stronger online Reconciliation Day concert
  • Flynn Early Childhood Centre workshops
  • Forrest Primary School Indigenous Garden.

“I encourage all Canberrans to take part in the many events and activities across the ACT and to join the conversation about Reconciliation,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

For more details on ACT Reconciliation Day 2021 and activities: events.canberra.com.au/reconciliation-day

Quote attributable to Chris Bourke, Co-Chair of the ACT Reconciliation Council:

“Reconciliation Day provides a special opportunity to encourage conversation about the importance of reconciliation to all Canberrans and, indeed, all Australians. We urge Canberrans to come and be part of the events and take the opportunity to develop an understanding of what we can do as a community, and as individuals, to contribute to reconciliation.”

Corey Grafen on behalf of the Tunnel Project at Forrest Primary which received a 2021 Reconciliation Day Grant:

“The playground and Indigenous Garden at Forrest Primary School is an important recreational park in the area. The Indigenous artwork on the concrete tunnels in the park will be a permanent reminder and symbol of our sense of belonging and pride in Indigenous culture. This initiative would not have been possible without the Reconciliation Day Grant. Fortunately, the grant will allow us to collaborate with a local artist and bring the wider school community together to foster respect and appreciation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.”

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