From 27 May – 3 June 2020, St Peters Lutheran joined with the rest of the country to mark twenty years of shaping Australia’s journey towards a more just, equitable and reconciled nation.
Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations and importantly as a nation. At the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
To launch National Reconciliation Week, we filmed the Acknowledgement to Country, which begins our Whole School Meeting each week, and took to social media, along with thousands of others, to show our support of creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
On National Sorry Day we spent time thinking and praying for all those impacted by the Stolen Generations. We acknowledged the strength of the Survivors and reflected on how we can all play a part in the healing process for our people and our nation.
The story, “Sorry Day” by Coral Vass and Dub Leffler was circulated among classes. The picture book is a poignant read and acknowledges the past and shows a willingness to make things right. The story commemorates both the momentous speech made by the Prime Minister of Australia to say sorry to the indigenous people for past abuse and to also recognise the decades of abuse suffered by the Stolen Generation. Told through the eyes of a young girl participating in the ceremony today and, in sepia colours, the eyes of the stolen children in the past.
Throughout the week the classes participated in activities designed to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. These included the Year 3/4/5/6s making a Sea of Hands and the 5/6/7s learning Kaurna words for local animals and incorporating them into artworks.
Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships. To work towards this, as a school we are creating a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). An important member of our RAP action group is Keiran Carter. Keiran zoomed into our whole school meeting and discussed the Aboriginal Flag and stories about his Nan’s sister. He then conducted a Q & A session with the children. We are fortunate to be partnering with Keiran and look forward to getting to know him, his family, his history and his perspective on reconciliation.
Our big message to the students of the school is that 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, cultures, and futures.