Term 2, Issue 2 - Reconciliation Week | Siena College
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National Reconciliation Week

This year marks twenty years of Australians working together to journey towards a more just, equitable and reconciled nation. Since the early years of this movement towards reconciliation, Australia has achieved greater acknowledgment of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander rights to land and sea, moved towards acknowledging and understanding the impact of historical government policies and practices and embraced the stories of indigenous success and contribution. Importantly, 2020 marks the twenty year anniversary of the walks for reconciliation in 2000, when vast numbers of Australians joined together to show their support for and commitment to, a more reconciled nation. Twenty years on provides us with a significant moment for reflection. It is a time to consider the progress that we have made and the work that must still be done.

The theme for 2020, In This Together, invites all Australians to consider the role we can play in building relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, histories and cultures.

In their Wellness sessions this week, Siena students reflected upon the theme and were challenged to consider how they could personally advocate for a more reconciled nation. Girls were encouraged to record their responses using video or audio to capture our student voices. Students were asked:

  • What does reconciliation mean to you?
  • How can you show your commitment to reconciliation in Australia?
  • What actions could you take to work towards reconciliation?
  • What behaviours could you change or challenge?
  • What would you need to learn about?
  • How could your commitment to reconciliation improve the lives of all Australians?
  • Why is reconciliation vital for all Australians and for the future of our nation?
  • What is you hope for reconciliation?

Additionally, this week Siena College formalised our commitment towards reconciliation through the inaugural meeting of a working group consisting of representatives from staff, students, parents and members of the indigenous community. Our aim is to develop Siena College’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) – a strategic plan which identifies and articulates our commitment to working towards reconciliation as a Siena Community. This working group will meet regularly to develop a policy that clearly communicates our vision for reconciliation and formulate a series of actions that will demonstrate this vision. We look forward to communicating our group’s progress with you as we work together towards reconciliation.

Bronwyn Ilott

Head of Justice Education
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