“At its heart, reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.”
Today marks the start of Reconciliation Week. This year’s theme is ‘In this together’. This is so appropriate on a number of levels. Reconciliation Week is always held from the 27th May and the 3rd of June as these are the dates of the 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.
There are 5 dimensions of reconciliation – race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity, and historical acceptance. Each of these dimensions are important at all times and not only during Reconciliation Week.
As a school community with families from across the globe, from different backgrounds, different incomes, different beliefs and varying life choices, the importance of these dimensions in our daily lives becomes more necessary, even vital for meaningful connection and growth.
Our differences, our quirks and our variety of cultures are what make us the incredible team (family) that we are here at Porties. If we view ourselves as a homogenous group where all must conform, then we are destined to falter. We must never use a narrow cultural lens to identify and group each other. Our Aboriginal cultures at this school are diverse, from across our country and language groups. While I identify as a Minang woman this doesn’t make me the same as a Kaurna woman, a Pitjantjatjara woman or an Arrernte woman. Bunching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people together as one culture is a behaviour we must avoid. Just as we wouldn’t bunch all of our families from the United Kingdom together as one group, we identify each of our students as individual students with their own beliefs, cultures and influences. Thus, we must remember to respect the individual cultures, backgrounds and beliefs of all.
This week I ask that you do some research, build your understanding and take some time to reflect on the need for Reconciliation Week. Let’s appreciate each other’s individuality and respect their choices so that we can continue to strengthen our Porties Family.