National Reconciliation Week
19 May 17 by Jem Harding
Each year National Reconciliation Week celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. 2017 is a particularly significant year in the reconciliation journey; 50 years since the 1967 referendum that saw over 90 per cent of Australians vote to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the national census and 25 years since the Mabo decision that legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship to the land. Each year, Cranbrook places significant value in celebrating this week, and in the past we have hosted celebrated Indigenous speakers, performance groups and cultural figures to help our students, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, better understand the issues that have led us to commemorate these events.
The theme for Reconciliation Week 2017 is, ’Let’s take the next steps’, and in keeping with this narrative, all of our students in Years 7 and 8 have taken it upon themselves to learn four traditional Torres Strait Islander songs with movement that they will perform and record en masse in week 6. We also look forward to hosting the Inner Sydney Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir for an afternoon of cultural and musical exchange and a visit from family members of some of our Indigenous students to share their knowledge of traditional cooking with our boys. Other events within the School are scheduled to coincide with Reconciliation Week with a view to incorporate the spirit of NAIDOC week 2017 towards the end of Term 2, and we look forward to bringing you more information as we get closer to the date.