Dixie Link-Gordon, a prominent figure in the Indigenous Women’s Rights sector and a domestic violence educator, photo by Dean Golja
“National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 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. Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
National Reconciliation Week happens every year in Australia from 27 May to 3 June.
It’s a significant week for the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and non-Aboriginal people in Australia. Two dates of significance fall within the week: The anniversary of the 1967 Referendum (when Australians overwhelmingly voted to allow Aboriginal people to be counted in the national census) and the High Court’s Mabo Decision (which overturned the fiction of terra nullius and recognised the legal right of Aboriginal people to land rights over their traditional lands).
The theme of this year’s Reconciliation Week is: “Don’t Keep History a Mystery” – focused on sharing, learning and growing by learning more about the history of this country, learning more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and creating more of a shared narrative about the history of this country.
At Bonnie’s this Reconciliation Week, we are demonstrating our commitment to Reconciliation through:
- Ongoing work on our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in partnership with Reconciliation Australia and our RAP Working Group members;
- The wonderful Aboriginal artist Danielle Sullivan will be creating a new artwork for Bonnie’s. We are thrilled to have her with us. The making of the artwork will involve our staff and clients. (Watch our Facebook page for pics);
- We are co-facilitating a Women’s Open Space discussion and information session at the Liverpool Women’s Health Centre, in partnership with the marvellous Dixie Link-Gordon from the Women’s Legal Service NSW;
- Further enriching our staff’s cultural competence with shared learning activities at our staff meetings;
- Ensuring we continue and grow our culturally responsive and flexible service delivery to the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal families who access our services;
- Creating information and resources specifically for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community (E.g. Bonnie’s brochure);
We at Bonnie’s are proud to be part of a culturally diverse society:
“Bonnie’s is committed to working inclusively and collaboratively with all of our staff members, our Management Board, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consultants and other stakeholders to improve our cultural safety, build on opportunities and positive relationships, enhance health, safety and well-being, and maximise respect for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.” – Bonnie’s draft Reconciliation Action Plan, 2018.
We hope that you too can engage heartily with reconciliation activities in your local community, and stand together with us in actively respecting one another’s history and cultural diversity across this country.
“My vision is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people in Australia to feel included and supported by any service…with no fear of being discriminated against.” – Bonnie’s Staff member, RAP Development Staff Consultation, 2017.
Written by Catherine