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31 May, 2019 Community

Recognising National Reconciliation Week at St Michael’s

This week, St Michael’s students and staff have been reflecting on National Reconciliation Week (NRW) with the 2019 theme, Grounded in Truth: Walk Together in Courage.

NRW is held annually from 27 May to 3 June and is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

“It is a call to reflective action, inviting the individual to consider their part in grounding reconciliation in truth and respectful dialogue,” said Head of the School, Mrs Terrie Jones.

We do need to do more as a community to walk together in courage with Indigenous Australians.Head of the School, Mrs Terrie Jones

In recognition of NRW, St Michael’s Literature and Research staff Ms Kate Gotlib, Ms Bryony Horrocks and Ms Fiona Spellman created two displays in The Gipson Commons which present information about Reconciliation Week and the two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey — the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

A display for students in the junior years is located on the first floor of The Gipson Commons and a display for senior students is located on the second floor.

An Indigenous Flag has also been placed in the School staff lunch room, and staff have been signing the flag as a way of pledging solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters and working towards reconciliation.

  • Recognising National Reconciliation Week at St Michael’s
    Reconciliation display for the junior years
  • Recognising National Reconciliation Week at St Michael’s
    Staff have been signing an Indigenous Flag in a pledge of solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters

“We are very grateful for the efforts of the Literature and Research staff for providing the School community with an opportunity to make visible our individual reflections on the importance of commemorating the two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey,” said Mrs Jones.

Last Friday, student leaders Sara, Sebastian and Isabella accompanied by Mr Murray Phyland and Mr Chris Mills, attended the National Sorry Day Lunch hosted by the Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation at South Melbourne Community Centre.

Recognising National Reconciliation Week at St Michael’s Sebastian, Sara and Isabella with committee members from the Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation

“The Lunch was a great reminder of how important it is to hear the stories of Indigenous people and understand how they have been affected,” said Year 12 student and Co-captain of the School, Sara.

The Lunch commenced with a Welcome to Country by the Boon Wurrung Foundation, followed by a musical performance by Indigenous singer Brett Lee and Indigenous poet MC Dennis Fisher read some of his poetry.

The biggest thing that I took away from the Lunch was that when you acknowledge Sorry Day, you have to put action behind your words and try to make a change.Year 12 student and Prefect, Isabella

National Sorry Day is commemorated annually on 26 May and marks the anniversary of the tabling in Federal Parliament of the Bringing Them Home Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, on 26 May 1997.

We would like to thank the staff who have made the importance of National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week visible at St Michael’s, providing an opportunity for the School community to reflect and work towards achieving reconciliation.