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On reconciliation path

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On reconciliation path

Upcoming local events aim to find common ground among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. WORDS: Caitlin Zerafa.

It’s an important week where all Australians are encouraged to continue building meaningful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

National Reconciliation Week (NRW)runs from May 27 to June 3 and the theme for 2024 is: “Now more than ever”.

NRW is a time for all Australians to learn about shared histories, cultures and accomplishments, and to further contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Group (SCRG) works on a local level to foster reconciliation through education, engagement and participation.

The SCRG was the first reconciliation group in Queensland, formed in 1997.

SCRG chair Fiona McGill says that despite the failed Voice to Parliament referendum last year, the Sunshine Coast remains in support of initiatives to correct past mistakes.

“We trebled our membership with (the referendum) campaign, telling us that there is a large groundswell of support and enthusiasm for correcting the mistakes of the past, and reaching out to Indigenous people in hope and solidarity,” Ms McGill says.

“Reconciliation Week is the heart of this endeavour – a time for all of us to look to a better future.

“Our aim is to provide a platform for all Australians to get together and hear each other’s stories. Indigenous people are very engaged in productive and progressive actions to improve the situation of their people, and there is much support for their aspirations.”

Through the week, the group will hold a variety of activities, including its popular Aunty Betty Memorial Walk.

“Our Aunty Betty Memorial Walk each year in Reconciliation Week provides an opportunity to hear about local Indigenous culture,” Ms McGill says.

“Our Shared History seminars showcase local history, and our upcoming on-line Film Club will be showing films that fascinate and educate – just what we need now to advance ‘truth-telling’.”

The walk will take place on May 29 at 10am from Dicky Beach Park and include a Gubbi Gubbi Dance Troupe performance and a smoking ceremony.

Gubbi Gubbi educator Lyndon Davis will lead the short wheelchair-accessible walk On Country, providing information and stories about the area. The event is free to attend.

TribalLink Cultural Activity Centre will hold a NRW event at 70 Obi Obi Road, Mapleton, from 3.30pm to 7pm on Monday, May 27. Visitors will see the welcome dance by Deerum Wandum Dance, witness a yidiki (digeridoo) demonstration and join art workshops. The event is free but registration is essential at events.humanitix.com/nrw2024launch.

Ways to support First Nations people and culture locally

  • Visit the Gathaa Markets at Forest Glen to see local Indigenous businesses showing their beautiful wares. Mark July 28 in the diary for the next event, which will take place from 9am to 3pm at 354 Mons Road, Forest Glen.
  • Hear about local stories and culture with Saltwater Eco Tours as you cruise along the waterways of Mooloolaba on a heritage vessel.
  • Next time you’re at Eumundi, pop into Deadly Espresso (located within the Eumundi Pavilion) for a coffee and authentic bush tucker.

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