Reconciliation comes to life

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THE Warringinee group of the Mornington Peninsula, which supports cultural diversity and promotes understanding of issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, will make a presentation at the public council meeting at Rosebud Memorial Hall, 5pm, tonight (Tuesday 23 May).

This is regarded as an important night for the group to showcase what has been achieved by the shire’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in the past year.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend this event featuring a smoking ceremony, traditional welcome-to-country, a performance by Dardee Balagamdail Aboriginal Dance Group, as well as guest speakers.

The presentation is part of National Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June), which celebrates and builds on relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.

This year’s theme is “Let’s take the next steps”.

The community celebrates the anniversaries of two events this year which symbolise reconciliation:

Saturday 27 May is the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum in which more than 90 per cent of Australians voted to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise them in the national census.

Saturday 3 June marks 25 years since the High Court made its landmark 1992 Mabo decision which recognised – in law – that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a special relationship to the land that existed prior to colonisation and still exists today. This recognition paved the way for land rights or native title.

“Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of us all as we move forward, creating a nation and peninsula strengthened by respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples,” the mayor Cr Bev Colomb said.

“The shire will continue to work in partnership and be an advocate … to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have equal access to local employment and other opportunities.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 23 May 2017

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