Nura Gili News Edition 28 - Page 12

National Reconciliation Week Last week was National Reconciliation Week with this year’s theme being Our History, Our Story, Our Future. 2016 marks 25 years of formal reconciliation in Australia with the establishment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation in 1991. It is also 15 years since Reconciliation Australia was formed and 10 years of success in the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program. There were a number of events held at UNSW to celebrate the week. The Law Faculty provided a morning tea with special guest speaker, Dunghutti woman Ashlee Donohue. Additionally, the School of Mathematics and Statistics hosted a Sorry Day lunch and Tigger’s Honeypot Childcare Centre held an afternoon tea and music jam. The children at Tigger’s have been learning about the use of symbols to share meaning and stories, inspiring the invitation to the afternoon tea. The four year-old artist of the invitation shared a description of her work: “These are the symbols of the sun, the rainbow and water. This is a girl who was going up in circles. The girl decided to travel down to the happy boulders. When she was on her way she experienced moving ledges so she drew train tracks and the tracks takes to the sea and over and even to New York. This is the house where the girl lives. It has sticks on the bottom of the house, they need to cling to the cliffs so that they don’t get blown away by the wind.” The Law Society also organised for a group of staff and students to attend an Indigenous Cultural Tour in La Perouse with Kadoo Tours, owned by Yuin elder Tim Ella, who is also Chairman of the La Perouse Land Council. The tour took place on Friday June 3 and a few Nura Gili staff members, Frances, Ren and Bek, participated in the tour. This date was highly significant as it was the anniversary of the 1992 High Court Mabo decision which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship to the land that existed prior to colonisation and continued after, paving the way for land rights. The tour group were welcomed to country with an ochre ceremony and Tim shared stories about growing up in La Perouse. They walked through a bush trail hearing facts about the people and they learnt about the techniques used by Indigenous people of the area to make their tools and weapons. Tim showed the group a traditional campsite and showed the group where his people fished and how they communicated. After trekking down to the rocks, Tim shared some scary stories of Bigfoot. As the group headed to the ochre dunes, Tim shared knowledge that had been passed down to him about where his people hunted certain animals, such as the kangaroo, wombat and possum as well as where they camped and searched for bush tucker. Tim also spoke about the importance of the ocean to his people and shared stories of how they fished the bay, hunted giant whales and battled sharks. He explained why this area is so significant to him and his family. The Nura Gili staff who participated said the tour provided a great insight into local Indigenous knowledge and was a nice way to celebrate Mabo Day and Reconciliation Week. The childcare centre’s commitment to teach children about Reconciliation Week has earned them a spot on the Australian Family Education and Care Awards shortlist. Tigger’s have implemented an educational program that incorporates songs, books, basic Indigenous language skills and visits from Nura Gili and Indigenous elders to help the children learn about reconciliation and Indigenous history. 12 13