• 26 May 2022, 9:00am to 3 June 2022, 5:00pm
Footscray Park, St Albans
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Free

The theme for this year’s Reconciliation Week is ‘Be Brave, Make Change’. It celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander struggles for justice, and is an invitation and challenge for non-Aboriginal people to listen, learn and act to lend solidarity and practical support to Aboriginal-led struggles for justice and equality.

You can participate in many ways – big and small – to grow your understanding and contribute.

All VU staff, students and alumni are invited to join one or more of the actions below to be brave and make change this Reconciliation Week. 

Thursday 2 June
10.30 – 11.30am
VU Bar, Footscray Park Campus

Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adam Shoemaker invites you to join him, VU staff and students for a fundraising Reconciliation Week morning tea. The morning tea will raise money for Djirra, a culturally safe Aboriginal women’s organisation.

Please register to attend the morning tea, but even if you can’t come along you can still donate here.

Thursday 9 June
10.30am - 3.30pm (1.5 hour slots within this timeframe)
St Albans Campus

Roll up your sleeves and lend a hand! Be part of an exciting working bee– the revitalization of the Iramoo nursery and garden, at VU’s St Albans campus.

Assist by planting and growing the original flora once common in Melbourne’s Western Suburbs, or helping rebuild the fence around the garden. Our support team will help you identify what tasks are available and how you can help us achieve them. Pick a timeslot between 10.30 AM and 3.00 PM.

Register here for the working bee

Decolonizing Solidarity – a book created by VU researcher Clare Land with Gary Foley and Robbie Thorpe, examines the problems that can arise when activists from colonial backgrounds seek to be an ally to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander causes. Decolonizing Solidarity provides history, context and raises key theoretical and practical questions.

The Decolonizing Solidarity Book Club is an online and face-to-face book club for people anywhere who want to process the book’s insights and discuss how they could be put into practice. Each book club group meets once a month for six months and is supported through sets of discussion questions, session guides and suggested group guidelines.

Register your interest in joining a Decolonizing Solidarity Book Club (your details will only be shared with the organisers of the book club).   

Talk

Friday 3 June
10am
Online

Clare Land will give an online talk about the book Decolonizing Solidarity.

Register here to attend the talk.

 

Grow Solidarity

Grow Solidarity is an evolving and ongoing opportunity for non-Aboriginal members of the VU community to learn, act and engage as allies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in their pursuit of equality and justice. The journey of ally-ship is continuous as we each deepen our understanding of how to stand behind and beside First Nations Peoples who are the leaders in their fight for sovereignty, truth and treaty.

You can select from three pledges to take actions for self-education and practical support. It is recommended that you have already engaged with actions or have understanding at the foundational levels prior to taking on the next.

Pledge to take the following three actions to begin your journey toward solidarity and support.

Be truthful

Whose Country am I on?  Find out who the Traditional Owners are for the land where you live and study or work. Learn something about the Traditional Owners of the land where you are.

https://aiatsis.gov.au/whose-country
See VU’s Prof Gary Foley video on this: Educate Yourself, THEN educate the people

Acknowledge

Learn about the difference between an Acknowledgement of Country and a Welcome to Country.

Learn how to do an Acknowledgment of Country and use your knowledge from ‘Whose Country Am I On?’ to modify your acknowledgements for different places. 

Representation

Visit the web page for Moondani Balluk – a culturally safe and supportive place for Aboriginal students and staff at Victoria University. Moondani Balluk means ‘embrace people’ in the Woiwurrung language of the Wurundjeri people.

Pledge to take the following four actions to cultivate a deeper understanding and strengthen your support.

Be truthful

Visit the First People’s Assembly of Victoria and learn about the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission and the Truth Telling and Treaty process in Victoria.

Acknowledge

Identify an opportunity to do an Acknowledgement of Country in a public or group setting. Suggest to meeting organisers that they do an Acknowledgment at the beginning of the gathering or meeting if it isn’t already on the agenda.

Recognise and Respect

Buy a badge, t-shirt, lanyard, bumper sticker or other items to show your support. 

https://www.clothingthegaps.com.au/collections/pins-keyrings

https://www.clothingthegaps.com.au/collections/tees

Safeguard

Visit Gooriweb – an educational history resource by VU researcher Professor Gary Foley about history and politics to learn about heroes of the Aboriginal resistance, the Black Power movement and significant milestones in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recognition and rights.

Pledge to take the following five actions to stretch your knowledge and create a strong basis for standing in solidarity.

Be Truthful

Take a challenging step in learning about the truth of colonisation of this country by listening to the Frontier Wars Stories podcast.

https://boespearim.podbean.com/

Acknowledgement

Badge your home or advocate to badge your workplace to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land it is on (and bonus - support a business run by Aboriginal women at the same time). If you or your workplace can’t afford an acknowledgement plaque, then sticker your letterbox or car bumper with free sticker templates from Know Your Country

Safeguard

Join a VU Decolonizing Solidarity Book Club to join with friends and colleagues in reading the work of Moondani Balluk researchers Clare Land, Gary Foley and Robbie Thorpe. Deepen your understanding of how to stand in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

http://decolonizingsolidarity.org/

Recognition and Respect

Commit that on the 26th of January you will attend a Survival Day dawn service or National Day of Mourning ceremony. Look for other opportunities to act such as joining the Long Walk and NAIDOC Week events.

Reparations

Make a donation to a First Nations organisation. Visit Pay the Rent to understand why we need to go beyond just saying sorry and provide financial support.

Djirra - https://www.givenow.com.au/fvpls

Pay the Rent  https://paytherent.net.au/#two

Seed Mob https://www.seedmob.org.au/donate

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