Hobsons Bay City Council is calling on the community to join in recognising National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the shape of how NRW will be celebrated around Australia this year but Council will use NRW to showcase community resources and promote opportunities that encourage people to explore what reconciliation means.
During NRW, which runs from 27 May to 3 June, people are encouraged to engage with, celebrate, recognise and learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island histories, cultures and peoples and achievements.
In Hobsons Bay, this will include:
- the Torres Strait Island flag will be flown alongside the Aboriginal flag at the Civic Centre, and at the Williamtown Town Hall during NRW
- a social media spotlight on artist Elverina Johnson of Yarrabah, Hobsons Bay’s sister city, and her painting Bandu Gadda’an “Come together as one mob” in the Gungganji language of Yarrabah
- education materials to support Lost Lands Found, the ecological art installation at Altona’s Logan Reserve created by Dean Stewart, a proud Wemba Wemba Wergaia Aboriginal man, to create awareness of lost grasslands. These will be shared on the Council website and social media pages
- a series of thought-provoking documentaries through Hobsons Bay Libraries (accessible online through the Beaumafilm platform), as well as an eBook collection that features Archie Roach, David Gulpilil, Kim Scott, Bruce Pascoe, Stan Grant, the Gay’wu Group of Women and many more at https://libraries.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au
- other online and social media content published to highlight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, writers and music
In 2020, Reconciliation Australia marks 20 years of NRW, shaping Australia’s journey towards a more just, equitable and reconciled nation. This year’s theme is In This Together.
NRW is bookend by two important milestones in the reconciliation journey:
- 27 May is the anniversary of the successful 1967 referendum when Australians voted to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and
- 3 June marks the historic Mabo decision in which the High Court of Australia recognised native title – the recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights over their lands did survive British colonisation.
The day before NRW – 26 May – is National Sorry Day which was first held in Sydney in 1998, and is now commemorated nationally to remember and honour the Stolen Generations.
As stated by Hobsons Bay Mayor Cr Colleen Gates
“I invite the Hobsons Bay community to come together through different ways during National Reconciliation Week to celebrate the long standing heritage, presence and diversity of our First Nations, and contribute to a community in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples feel a sense of pride and belonging.
“This year’s theme is ‘In This Together’ and while we can’t physically get together at the moment, our commitment to this journey can continue to be shown through learning, conversation, public expressions of support and living a life of inclusion.”