From the Senior School Captains: National Reconciliation Week
Tara S and Nicholas C | 2022 Senior School Captains | Grammar News |3 June 2022
As many readers will be aware, from 27 May to 3 June Australia celebrates National Reconciliation Week. On Tuesday, we heard from Brooke Prentis, Aboriginal leader and CEO of Common Grace. She spoke upon the importance of individual action in creating a better future for all, upon the value of recognising Indigenous contributions to our communities and our Nation. She also encouraged us to consider what Reconciliation Week means to us, as students. Indeed, it is a time of learning, appreciation and reflection during which we take time to consider our shared histories, cultures and achievements. It is an opportunity for us all to celebrate the longest living culture on the planet, in all it’s diversity and beauty. However, it also entails discussion around the long history of oppressive conditions and experiences faced by Indigenous Australians - conditions that endure into the present day.
As students, we learn throughout our years at school the stories, struggles and traditions of the Indigenous peoples of Australia. We learn of the vast history, we learn of the rich culture, and we learn of the systematic and enduring factors that make the walk towards reconciliation ever so important. We come to understand that there is a while yet before we can stand assuredly in this country, on this land, and have confidence that we all have access to the same opportunities, to a fair go.
But the key to this future, the bridging of this gap, lies with the individual. It lies in the individual effort to extend respect to the land you walk on, to learn beyond the curriculum of the diverse and complex cultures of this Nation, to use your voice to push for change.
Indeed, the theme of this year’s Reconciliation Week is “Be Brave. Make Change.”. It encourages us all to take the extra step in our daily lives and in our communities, to be accountable for our actions and our words, to realise the power that we yield when unified - the power to create a more equal future. And this is no power to be understated. It has the potential to transform our society. So I encourage you all to invest yourselves in the messages and stories you will hear this week, to open your ears and hearts to the thousands of voices that make up our Nation, and to pursue in your own life and your own actions that which walks forward on the path to reconciliation.