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National Reconciliation Week 2021

May 27, 2021

This year, the theme is More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.

We’re excited to have commenced our journey of creating and embedding a Reconciliation Action Plan within our organisation that coincides with National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 2021.

Reconciliation is all about forming Relationships, building Respect, and creating Opportunities. It is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations and importantly as a nation. 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.

In line with this year’s theme, it is imperative we get more people speaking up, asking the hard questions and taking action during and beyond NRW. To help us at Painted Dog, we are sharing some actions for reconciliation over the course of this week.  

To start moving from safe to brave on issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples, here are the first 5 actions for reconciliation:

1. Move from ally to accomplice – as only 3% of the Australian population, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can’t raise the profile of important issues without allies. Find out what a good ally looks like via the links below.
Safer – Know how to be a better ally to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by clicking here.
Braver – Step up, show up, be an accomplice. Disruption of the status quo is often necessary to achieve real change.

2. Call Out Racism – racism damages lives and livelihoods. Whether in the city, regions, online or in public spaces, it has long-lasting damaging effects.
Safer – Check you understand how your unconscious bias and attitudes affect your thinking and actions here.
Braver – Be ready to call out racism when you hear or see it. Here are some tips on how to have those conversations with family and friends.

3. It’s all our history – a key challenge in the reconciliation movement has been overturning the cult of disremembering and the great Australian silence when it comes to our true history.
Safer – When talking about the history or story of Australia, always include the participation and present of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Braver – Find out facts and ways to learn and talk about Australia’s history here.

4. Know your local history – memorialising and commemorating those who committed massacres, forced removals and cultural genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continues the suffering inflicted by the original crime.
Safer – investigate your local history and the record of colonial leaders who are memorialised by place names in your local area.
Braver- if they are guilty of historical crimes against First Nations peoples, then start a community conversation about renaming these places.

5. Create culturally safe places – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples don’t always feel safe or welcomed in some places, and have been historically excluded from many.
Safer – Understand what could make your workplace a more welcoming and safe place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by clicking here.
Braver – Seek cultural awareness training locally or find a facilitator via Supply Nation.

If you are hesitant to challenge some of the long-held but incorrect ideas in your community, be assured that across this country many people just like you are joining First Nations peoples in this effort.

Remember, make reconciliation more than a word.