The Australian Jesuit Province’s Bookends Project invites you to get to know, come to understand and get to work on building meaningful relationships with First Nations communities this National Reconciliation Week.
Running from 27 May to 3 June, National Reconciliation Week offers an opportunity for all Australians to reflect on the part they play – whether big or small – on our journey towards reconciliation.
The theme this year is ‘In this together’. Unity is one of the five dimensions of reconciliation as defined by Reconciliation Australia.
‘We all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures’, said Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine.
‘When we come together to build mutual respect and understanding, we shape a better future for all Australians.’
Here are seven ways you can continue on the journey towards reconciliation this week.
1. Learn about the reconciliation journey through Reconciliation Australia,
2. Read the Uluru Statement from the Heart and reflect on its message.
3. Listen to, learn from, and celebrate First Nations stories.
Visit NITV for Reconciliation week special programming.
SBS Reconciliation Film club are streaming films and interviews over NRW.
Visit Booktopia Australia for a list of First Nations literature.
Read this terminology guide to inform your own communication.
4. Engage with your local First Nations community. Find your local Aboriginal Corporation, Land Council, or Traditional Owner Group .
AIATSIS are one of our most comprehensive recourses for First Nations culture and knowledge online.
AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia
5. Learn about Acknowledgements of Country. Commit to them in your workplaces, parishes, and social networks.
6. Celebrate through music. Tune into your local radio station, or listen to your favourite First Nations artists at home and online.
Tune in to ‘In Concert Together’ hosted by Christine Anu on Facebook Live and ABC Radio 9.05PM Friday May 25
7. Find ways to speak about Reconciliation in your prayers, at work, in your parishes and through your social networks.
Please share your Reconciliation activities and reflections on the Australian Jesuits Facebook page.
The Australian Jesuit Province’s Bookends Project focuses on the two ‘bookends of rejection’ in Australian history: our treatment of First Nations peoples and our treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.
The project is working to give the Australian Jesuit community a defined and meaningful space to reflect on the relationships we all hold, as humans, with First Nations communities and with refugees and people seeking asylum. And to determine a path forward through truth telling, to assist those communities in an environment of hospitality.
‘Our role, as we see it, is to use this space to assist and advocate on issues where the diverse experiences of these communities interconnect’, says Hannah Welch, the Project Officer for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aspect of the Bookends Project.
‘We want to work for those we seek to accompany, with Ignatian spirituality – the antithesis of rejection.’
The Bookends Project would like to hear how your ministry is working towards reconciliation this week and throughout the year. You can share stories and photos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to share some of these stories in Australian Jesuit News and on our Province Facebook page.