Be Brave, Make Change during Reconciliation Week

Published on 12 May 2022

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The Gannawarra will mark National Reconciliation Week with a walk through the streets of Kerang.

Organised by Gannawarra Shire Council in partnership with Mallee District Aboriginal Services and Northern District Community Health, this annual Reconciliation Week event, occurring on Friday, 27 May, involves a morning of activities, highlighted by a walk from the Kerang Council Building at 10am to the Sir John Gorton Library.

“National Reconciliation Week 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,” Mayor Charlie Gillingham said.

“Held annually between 27 May and 3 June, National Reconciliation Week commemorates two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the successful 1967 referendum that gave Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders the right to vote, and the 1992 High Court Mabo Native Title decision.”

“Reconciliation, supporting it, promoting it and living it makes for a better Australia,” NDCH Chief Executive Officer, Mandy Hutchinson said. 

“Reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous people.

“Our organisaton is proud to work with and learn from Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples, supporting their goals around health, wellbeing and positive connections.”

Festivities will begin with a flag raising ceremony outside the Kerang Council Building in Victoria Street, before local leaders and residents walk to the Sir John Gorton Library via Wellington, Fitzroy, Scoresby and Nolan streets.

Events occurring at Kerang’s library precinct will begin at 10.30am with a Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony, storytelling session, and a Question and Answer session with local Elders, facilitated by local children’s Indigenous group Tyipen Kwe. A free morning tea will follow proceedings.

“This year’s Reconciliation Week theme is Be Brave. Make Change, which is a challenge to all Australians to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians,” Mayor Gillingham said.

“I encourage residents to join in with the day’s celebrations and unite as we continue on our journey of reconciliation.”

Mallee District Aboriginal Services Working Together for Health Coordinator, Toni Webster welcomed the community-wide initiative to mark Reconciliation Week in the Gannawarra Shire.

“The Reconciliation Week theme this year talks about all of us being brave, because there are some difficult things in relation to history of our country,” Ms Webster said.

“But it’s about opening our hearts and minds to our shared history, what that means, good and bad, and moving on from that.

“We hope National Reconciliation Week will leave people feeling better informed about the culture of our First People – 60,000 years old and the oldest continuing culture on earth. That’s something we can all take pride in.”

These celebrations are funded by Gannawarra Shire Council through the Victorian Government’s Community Activation and Social Isolation (CASI) initiative.

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