Celebrated from May 27th to June 3rd, National Reconciliation Week is a time for Australians to come together and learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements. During this week, Australians of all ages, cultures and beliefs are encouraged to reflect on how they can contribute to achieving reconciliation.
The concept of reconciliation in Australia was formed on five critical dimensions; race relations, equality and equity, unity, institutional integrity and historical acceptance. As stated by Reconciliation Australia:
"Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations and importantly as a nation. At the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) started in 1993 and was originally titled the ‘Week of Prayer for Reconciliation’. It was renamed in 1996 by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. The dates, which remain the same every year, commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. In 2000, approximately 300,000 people walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge to show their support for NRW. These walks became some of the largest displays of public support for a single cause in Australian history. Today the week is celebrated by a vast array of businesses, educational institutions, organisations and individuals.
Featured above: Reconciliation in Australia - Our History, Our Story, Our Future
How is National Reconciliation Week celebrated?
With social distancing restrictions in place for the foreseeable future, National Reconciliation Week will take a vastly different form in 2020. Traditionally, the week is celebrated via a variety of community events including panel discussions, concerts, film screenings and other gatherings of people. In light of our current circumstances, Reconciliation Australia is encouraging everyone to think differently and creatively about what they had planned. Taking events online and joining social/digital media conversations are suggested as two ways that individuals, businesses and organisations can celebrate National Reconciliation Week 2020.
What is the theme for National Reconciliation Week 2020?
This year’s the theme is #inthistogether
With the impacts of COVID-19 being felt around the country, National Reconciliation Week 2020 could not have chosen a more relevant and compassionate theme. The Watarrka Foundation certainly resonate with this theme, after a mammoth community effort was made to protect the Watarrka region from the impact of the pandemic. Never before has our community banded together in such a unified manner. Our team will be forever grateful to the amazing community of Watarrka for their generosity during this critical time.
"The Watarrka Foundation, in its mission to promote independence and resilience amongst the Aboriginal Community in the Watarrka region, encourage all Australians to engage in the National Reconciliation Week conversation. It is a time for us all to reflect on our shared histories and to continue building respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.”
- Paul Jensen, Chairman Watarrka Foundation
As stated by the official Reconciliation committee, this year’s theme reminds us that whether in a crisis or in reconciliation, we are all #inthistogether.
Featured above: Official Reconciliation Poster for 2020
The Watarrka food program is still in place as we continue to band together to protect our community. To support the ‘Feed the Watarrka Community’ program, visit our Go Fund Me page at https://bit.ly/3alr2ee