Uniting, previously known as UnitingCare West, invite you to join them in getting involved with Reconciliation Week – 27 May to 3 June.
Reconciliation Week marks two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the 1967 Referendum acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the High Court Mabo decision, respectively. National Reconciliation Week is preceded by National Sorry Day on 26 May.
This year, Uniting invite you to take part online by uploading a selfie that shows a change occurring in the seasons, and name the change you want to make for reconciliation. Use #NRW2020 or #InThisTogether2020 or #UnitingTogether to make sure your selfie gets seen.
The Reconciliation Week resource from Uniting reads:
“While we can’t walk together in person at the moment, we encourage you to take a walk on the Country where you live and look for signs of the change of seasons. On Noongar/Nyungar Country we are currently moving between two of the six Noongar/Nyungar seasons. Djeran, the ant season, is in April to May and is also known as the season of adulthood. Makuru, the fertility season that occurs in June and July, is cold and wet.
“Find out whose Country you are on – who were the people connected to this place for thousands of generations? How were they impacted by colonisation and government policies? What changes are still needed to bring truth, justice and healing for First Peoples so that Reconciliation can occur?
“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 First Peoples, histories, cultures, and futures.”
The Uniting Church in Australia have also released resources to help you engage with Reconciliation Week.
The resource includes information on the journey between First and Second Peoples within the Uniting Church, as well as reflections from Dr Deidre Palmer, President of the Uniting Church in Australia, and Pr Mark Kickett, Interim National Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC). It also endorses the Reconciliation Sunday material produced by Tarlee Leondaris, Covenanting Officer at the Synod of South Australia.
“Each of us are called to contribute to the shaping of an Australian nation, which tells the truth of our history of colonisation, of First People’s dispossession, the devastating effects of colonisation on the First Peoples of this land, and the injustices that have been and continued to be perpetrated,” writes Deidre.
“We need to address racism in our everyday lives and call it out.
“This week is also an opportunity to celebrate First Peoples, their culture, law and custom, their connection to the land, and their resilience and survival as the oldest continuing culture in the world. This week is a celebration of the gifts, culture, stories and way of life that First Peoples bring in shaping 21st century Australia.
“Adnyamathanha woman and UCA Minister Rev Denise Champion speaks of sharing the stories of First Peoples that invite us into “the long memory of God in this land.”
“I invite you to take time in this week and beyond to listen to and hear the stories of First Peoples, who are your friends, neighbours, colleagues, classmates and members of our church. Reconciliation grows as we deepen our relationships as First and Second Peoples, and appreciate what we bring to each other.”
Download the resource from Uniting WA here.