Sharing open and honest truth about local Aboriginal history and culture is at the heart of the City of Fremantle’s National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week commemorations.
National Reconciliation Week, held annually from 27 May-3 June, is an opportunity for all Australians to reflect on their national identity and history, and explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation. The week is preceded by National Sorry Day on 26 May, which acknowledges and recognises members of the Stolen Generation.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week provided an opportunity for the City to reflect on its own reconciliation journey, and continue strengthening respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider community.
“Working with this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme ‘Grounded in Truth: Walk Together with Courage’, the City is hosting a number of community events at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre (WACC) and Fremantle Library,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“A key event is the Truth Telling Photographic Exhibition, which features a series of incredibly poignant photos depicting the early relationship of Aboriginal people in Western Australia.
“Truth telling and the healing that comes with it is an important step towards becoming a reconciled community.”
The free exhibition on display at the WACC is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am-3pm.
The WACC is also hosting an Over 55s Aboriginal Art Class on Thursday 30 May from 12-2pm, where participants can learn about Nyoongar culture, symbols and techniques to create their very own dot paining.
The film In Between Songs is screening at the WACC on Friday 31 May at 12pm; the film’s story follows an Aboriginal family’s struggle to maintain its ancestral traditions in the face of modern societal, economic and environmental pressures. At the same time across town, Fremantle Library will host a special Reconciliation Yarn with Whadjuk Nyoongar Joe ‘Possum’ Collard.
Closing out the week’s events is a Cultural Walk through Bathers Beach precinct on Saturday 1 June. On the walk, people will discover the significance of the area for Nyoongar people, while learning about bush tucker, animals, insects and the seasons.