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National Reconciliation Week 2024: ‘Now More Than Ever’

Last week, St Leonard’s College proudly celebrated National Reconciliation Week (NRW), which runs from 27 May to 3 June. This year’s NRW theme, ‘Now More Than Ever,’ serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Despite the challenges faced throughout Australia’s reconciliation journey, it is crucial that we remain engaged and connected, tackling the unfinished business of reconciliation with dedication and compassion.

Indigenous Awareness Program Activities

As part of our College’s Indigenous Awareness Program, we organised a series of engaging activities for our students, designed to foster understanding, respect, and connection with First Nations cultures. The highlights are featured in the video and outlined in more detail below.

First Nations Games

Students had the opportunity to participate in traditional Indigenous games, offering them a hands-on experience of the cultural practices and teamwork that have been integral to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for generations.

Having a Yarn Breakfast

This event featured a light stand-up breakfast followed by an enlightening presentation from Meena Singh, Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People. The event commenced with a heartfelt presentation and prayer by Rev. Judith Watkins, setting a reflective and respectful tone. The highlight of the morning was a powerful speech by Meena Singh, Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People in Victoria, who shared her extensive experience and dedication to social justice.

In support of the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS), attendees were encouraged to donate, reinforcing our commitment to Indigenous education. Principal Peter Clague further challenged everyone to discover, learn, and correctly pronounce at least three local Indigenous words, encouraging deeper cultural engagement and understanding.

This inclusive gathering brought together students, parents, and staff, underscoring the College’s strong commitment to reconciliation and the creation of a more equitable future. We extend our deepest thanks to Meena Singh for sharing her wisdom and to all students and staff who contributed to the event’s success.

Reconciliation Bake Sale

Our bake sale featured a delicious selection of First Nations inspired biscuits, including wattle seed and chocolate chip cookies and lemon myrtle shortbread. The proceeds from this event will go towards purchasing school supplies for Warruwi, supporting the education of Indigenous children.

Wayapa? Wuurrk / Indigenous Yoga Workshop

Karan Kent, a proud Bidjara woman, guided participants through Wayapa? Wuurrk – an Aboriginal Earth Connection and Wellness modality. This workshop involved slow movements, narrative visualisation, and earth mindfulness, providing a unique way to connect with Indigenous traditions and promote holistic well-being.

Basket Weaving

Students were introduced to the beautiful art of basket weaving through tutorials from The Tjanpi Desert Weavers YouTube channel. This activity not only taught a traditional craft but also highlighted the importance of storytelling and community in Indigenous cultures.

Our Commitment to Reconciliation

The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2024, ‘Now More Than Ever,’ underscores the urgency of continuing the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. At St Leonard’s College, we are committed to addressing the unfinished business of reconciliation by advocating for truth-telling and a deeper understanding of our shared history.

It is imperative that we stand up to defend the rights of First Nations peoples, call out racism, and amplify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices.

By participating in NRW and supporting these initiatives, we aim to foster a community that values reconciliation, respect, and action.

Join us in our commitment to reconciliation. Now more than ever, we need to come together to create a just and inclusive society for all.

Now more than ever, we need reconciliation.