National Reconciliation Week is a week of reflection, acknowledgement and support for Australia’s First Peoples and provides an opportunity for Australians to develop a deeper understanding of our country’s history. The week sits between two important days – National Sorry Day and Mabo Day.
National Sorry Day is observed the day before Reconciliation Week begins. It honours the Stolen Generations, acknowledging the harm caused to Aboriginal families and communities over generations by the removal of children.
Reconciliation Week ends on Mabo Day, a day that marks the historic legal victory in 1992, which recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as having rights to the land, rights which have always existed. The legal victory effectively nullified the claim of ‘terra nullius’.
The VU community is encouraged to participate in Reconciliation Week by learning more about Aboriginal culture.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment and Community Officer in the Diversity and Inclusion team, Irene Sazdov said, "supporting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is integral to the University’s vision to be a University of Opportunity and Success and of fostering a diverse and inclusive environment."
This year’s theme for Reconciliation Week 2020 – 'In this together' – is fitting for the current circumstances we find ourselves in. It is important to understand and grow relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
This week is an important time for the VU community to acknowledge that we are indeed #inthistogether. As the Vice-Chancellor Peter Dawkins states in his foreword in the Bathelmun Yalingwa Strategy, "our commitment to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is built into our strategic vision and mission."
Take the opportunity to learn about Australia’s history, understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and show your support. Visit Reconciliation Australia for more online events, and ways to get involved.
VU also has an Indigenous Academic Unit, Moondani Balluk, which supports Indigenous students, produces world-leading research, delivers courses and units with an Aboriginal focus, and promotes cultural awareness. Contact them to learn more.