UOW hosts cultural immersion event to recognise National Reconciliation Week
Events to focus on truth-telling, education and healing
The University of Wollongong (UOW) will recognise National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June) with a series of events aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture, knowledge, and history, and the importance of the reconciliation journey.
This year’s National Reconciliation Week will focus on the theme, ‘Be Brave – Make Change’, which will be explored in a cultural immersion event to take place on Wednesday 1 June at the UniBar. The theme is a call to action, to challenge all Australians to be brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can make changes that will benefit all Australians.
The event will feature speakers, dances from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers, a BBQ, bush tucker, weaving session, and an Aboriginal tools and weaponry display table.
Open to all students, staff and members of the community, it will also focus on UOW’s commitment to the truth-telling, education and healing that is fundamental to the reconciliation journey.
Wiradjuri woman, Tammy Small, Manager Projects for Indigenous Advancement, said National Reconciliation Week was a time to celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and reflect on the University’s reconciliation goals moving forward.
“Cultural immersion community events provide our staff and students with the opportunity to transform their thinking, through engaging with, and valuing, the stories of individuals,” Ms Small said.
“This year’s theme Be Brave, Make Change aligns perfectly with the University’s new Reconciliation Action Plan that aims to equip our staff and students with educational armour around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters that help create a shift in the movement from being safe, to being courageous.
“We must remember as a collective that reconciliation is everybody’s business. We need to move beyond the ‘when in doubt, leave it out’ way of thinking and work towards developing the tools necessary to foster fairer and more truthful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
Professor Patricia M. Davidson, UOW Vice-Chancellor, said the University was proud to recognise National Reconciliation Week and to come together to focus on the healing needed in the reconciliation journey.
“UOW is committed to walking together with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues, students and community to tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation,” Prof Davidson said.
“We are committed to having the tough conversations and making the changes needed to ensure a better future for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
“I share the vision for a more equitable and just Australia committed to reconciliation and building a stronger future for our nation through a process of truth-telling.”
UOW has formally pledged its support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, with a formal statement approved by the University Council last month.
The decision reflects the University’s commitment to its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff, and ongoing support for the process of truth-telling and Constitutional reform that underpins the Uluru Statement.
Earlier this year, the University also launched the UOW Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2022 - 2024, which aims to build stronger relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples that benefit all Australians.
Each year, UOW staff and students come together during National Reconciliation Week to celebrate the individual and professional achievements of people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their contributions to making UOW a culturally diverse and inclusive university.
This year the National Reconciliation Week event will take place on Wednesday 1 June from 10am to 12pm, at the UniBar.
For more information, visit UOW’s events page.