Dean of Identity | Mr Charles Brauer
Reconciliation is not a new word or new concept for you or for me. Reconciliation is not a simple thing for an individual, nor for a nation. However, it is one we cannot ignore or remain indifferent to.
Reconciliation. A concept we cannot ignore or remain indifferent to.
When did you first hear the term reconciliation? Most likely you encountered the term ‘reconciliation’ in the context of a Sacrament of the Catholic Church. Remember that time as a child you were challenged with identifying where you could have done better? The time where you were encouraged to seek forgiveness.
Reconciliation is not a new word or new concept for you or for me. At the core of reconciliation is - acknowledgment wrong-doing, apologising for any hurt or pain you pay have caused another and seek their forgiveness. Not a simple thing for an individual, nor for a nation. Reconciliation between our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of our nation is not a simple thing either. However, it is one we cannot ignore or remain indifferent to.
Officially National Reconciliation Week has two book ends. The first book end, this Saturday, 27 May, acknowledges the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum when Australians voted to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The second book end, 3 June, marks the end of National Reconciliation Week and the historic 1992 Mabo decision in which the High Court of Australia recognised native title. The recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights over their lands did survive British colonisation.
The theme of Reconciliation Week is ‘Let’s Take the Next Steps’. Next week our nation will reflect on the two significant anniversaries in Australia’s reconciliation journey – 50 years since the 1967 referendum, and 25 years since the historic Mabo decision. As we commemorate these significant milestones, we ask all Australians to be a part of the next big steps in our nation’s reconciliation journey.
What can our ‘Next Steps’ at Terrace be? What role can you play as an individual to promote national reconciliation? Our young men and staff contemplated these questions at Tuesday lunchtime’s Reconciliation Liturgy, as well as being provided with some simple yet significant examples of how to respond. These examples included:
- Find out more about the story of Brisbane’s Boundary St and our local Spring Hill history.
- Share your learnings of our Indigenous history with others, to build their knowledge and awareness, instead of letting ignorance linger.
- Deliberately stop while travelling Victoria Park cricket nets or part way through a Cross Country session and visit the waterhole of York’s Hollow.
- Put your hand up to lead our Acknowledgement of Country at our next College gathering.
As you encounter National Reconciliation Week, what is your ‘Next Step’ towards national reconciliation?