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Reconciliation Week

Reconciliation Week at Siena College 

National Reconciliation Week provides all Australians with the opportunity to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving Reconciliation in Australia.

National Reconciliation Week is observed annually from 27 May to 3 June each year. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

The theme for 2019 is 'Grounded in Truth: Walk Together in Courage'.  As seekers of truth, our Dominican charism positions us well to examine the truths of our history and, as such, to consider ways in which we can work towards restoring relationships with our First Peoples. 

Our observance of Reconciliation Week commenced on 23 May during our pastoral period with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony performed by Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Bill Nicholson.  In a special whole school event Uncle Bill explained the traditional custom of welcoming visitors to Country and taught us some of the practices, beliefs and stories unique to people of Wurundjeri Country.  Through the Smoking Ceremony, Uncle Bill cleansed the land of bad spirits.  Student representatives from each House Group walked alongside staff through the smoke to symbolically represent our journey towards Reconciliation.  Another significant highlight of the morning was the induction of two students to the role of FIRE carrier.  Lilly Oliphant and Elaine Koimala- Brown from Year 8 joined Year 10 student Hayley Di Stefano as FIRE Carriers (Friends Igniting Reconciliation through Education).

This induction ceremony provided the school community the opportunity to recommit to: 

• keep learning about Indigenous perspectives in all parts of our education.

• challenge racist behaviour and language.

• promote Aboriginal spirituality as part of our Catholic faith expression.

• listen to the hopes and dreams of our peers in the local and national Indigenous community.

• celebrate Indigenous achievement across all aspects of Australian life.

Throughout Reconciliation Week, students will deepen their understanding of the issues facing Indigenous Australians through an examination of the progress we have made towards achieving the Closing the Gap goals.  They will listen to contemporary stories of Indigenous Australians and consider the future for our First Nations People.  


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