The Gully Winds Choir
Mayor Miriam Smith and Local Historian David Brooks were joined by members of local Aboriginal group Gully Winds to officially launch Reconciliation Week at a moving ceremony within the Library today.
The Gully Winds Choir sang some songs that were special to them, including one written by Choir leader Vonda about Aboriginal soldiers who had gone to war for Australia, even before they were considered citizens.
Mayor Miriam Smith officially launches Reconciliation Week
Part of the event was dedicated to the launch of the Aboriginal Oral Histories, a project undertaken by David and Gully Winds members aimed at addressing the matter of Identity, a topic that is lacking from the records of the local area. Several members provided their oral history of their lives, and lives of their families from the region.
Thanks to all who were involved, and special thanks to those who quite openly recorded their lives for the rest of us to gain an understanding of what Identity means to them. The Oral Histories are available to borrow on CD and soon will be available to hear direct from the Library catalogue.
‘Carpet Snake’-an acrylic dot painting mounted on an unframed canvas featured during the Tea Tree Gully Reconciliation Week Art Exhibition from local Aboriginal artist Tanya Sansbury.
The Library and the Hive are celebrating National Reconciliation Week 2012.
What is National Reconciliation Week?
National Reconciliation Week is celebrated across Australia each year between 27 May and 3 June. The chosen dates recognise two significant achievements in the reconciliation journey; the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. The theme for this year is, ‘Let’s Talk Recognition’ with a strong focus on how all Australians can better understand and appreciate each other, the wonderful contributions, cultures and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Why are these dates significant?
27 May marks the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and defining event in our nation’s history. The 1967 referendum saw over 90 percent of Australians vote to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders in the national census. 2012 marks the 45th anniversary of the 1967 referendum.
On 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a special relationship to the land which existed prior to the colonalisation and still exists today. The recognition helped pave the way for land rights called the Native Title. This year is the 20th anniversary of the Mabo decision.
Check the Reconciliation Week webpage for details of upcoming events across council.
We all know the importance of recognition and how great it makes everyone feel. National Reconciliation week is a wonderful opportunity to recognize all Australians, and the unique place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders within this country. So get involved by attending an event and do your part for Reconciliation Week.