Let’s Talk Recognition at UOW
The University of Wollongong is leading the Illawarra’s Reconciliation Week celebrations this year with hip-hop performances, parades and speeches.
Thursday’s premier event will be the ‘Walk for Reconciliation’, starting at 11:50am.
Beginning at Wollongong TAFE’s canteen, the walk will progress over the freeway footbridge to the university’s Jugglers Lawn. Participants will place a plastic hand in the ‘Sea of Hands’, and then finish at the Duck Pond Lawn.
Other attractions will include a barbeque lunch and performances by indigenous hip-hop group Street Warriors, as well as other local aboriginal dancers and guest speakers.
This year’s theme, “Let’s Talk Recognition”, is described by the National Reconciliation Week’s website as having “a focus on how Australians can better recognise each other, and recognise the contributions, cultures and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
A Representative from the ACT Branch of Australian for Reconciliation, Flora MacDonald, highlighted the importance of Reconciliation Week.
“We need to include Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders in our communities so that we can all learn from one another and develop a real awareness, understanding, appreciation and respect for the culture and history of Indigenous Australia,” she said.
“Its basis is the inclusion of the Indigenous peoples of Australia, not their exclusion, and that is healing for all of us.”
First held in 1996, National Reconciliation Week helps celebrate Indigenous history and culture in Australia, encouraging reconciliation discussion and activities.
The week’s starting date, May 27, commemorates the 1967 referendum, which first recognised Aboriginal people in the Australian census. It also incorporates the June 3 1992 High Court ruling to reject the Terra Nullius doctrine, which paved the way for Native Title and land rights.
It will be the third year that the university has been involved in the celebrations, with numbers expected to grow from last year’s 250 in attendance.
WORDS: LIAM NETHERY
PHOTOS: ALYSSA MARTIN
VIDEO: VANESSA CONRY