National Reconciliation Week commences this week and the official 2021 theme is:
More than a word. Reconciliation takes action!
So what’s it all about and what action can you, an everyday Australian, take?
We sat down with Evolve’s Co-Directors and Cultural Awareness educators, Aunty Munya Andrews and Carla Rogers and asked for their advice. Drawing from their tried-and-tested Seven Steps to Practical Reconciliation™ framework, they’ve identified Seven Actions for Allies which we’ve shared below. But first, let’s find out more about NRW.
NATIONAL RECONCILIATION WEEK – WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving Reconciliation in Australia.
The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the Reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.
You can learn more about NRW at: nrw.reconciliation.org.au
MORE THAN A WORD RECONCILIATION TAKES ACTION!
The official NRW theme this year urges everyone to take action and it reminds us we all have a role to play.
By taking action we can collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures, and futures.
2021 marks almost three decades of Australia’s formal Reconciliation process. We still have a long way to go but the good news is there are lots of simple, practical steps we can all take to create a kinder, more inclusive Australia.
EVOLVE’S SEVEN ACTIONS FOR ALLIES
- Take a practical approach to Reconciliation – Evolve’s R3 Culture® model is a simple three step approach to collaboration and reconciliation that can be used in your personal life, work and business. Learn more here: Evolve’s R3 Approach
- Explore the Indigenous Map of Australia – in a continent larger than Europe, it’s not really surprising to discover there are literally hundreds of different Indigenous Nations with their own customs, languages and laws. This Indigenous Map of Australia is a useful resource to help appreciate the diversity of First Nations people and acknowledge the Traditional Owners and place names of where you live, work and travel throughout Australia. After all, Acknowledging Country is an essential component of Practical Reconciliation. View the map here: aiatsis.gov.au/explore/map-indigenous-australia
- Learn about Australia’s history from an Indigenous perspective – understanding our shared history is an important step towards Reconciliation. To be able to move forward together, we first need to acknowledge the past. There are many books and documentaries that you can access including the fantastic SBS series “First Australians” which you can access here: sbs.com.au/ondemand/program/first-australians
- Understand common language differences – different interpretations of words can quickly lead to misunderstandings. One example is the word “deadly” – find out what this word means for Aboriginal people here: evolves.com.au/deadly-communication/
- Appreciate the complexity of the Aboriginal kinship system – you may have noticed that your Aboriginal friends and colleagues seem to have many more brothers, uncles, aunties and even mothers than you! The Aboriginal kinship system is far more extensive than that of mainstream Australia which can result in many more family obligations, including funerals. Learn more here: evolves.com.au/big-mob
- Recognise your privilege – you may not think of yourself as privileged but statistically non-Indigenous people fare better than Indigenous people in many ways including: life expectancy; infant mortality; rates of incarceration; education and employment. One of the activities we provide in our Cultural Awareness Training is the Privilege Walk – read more about that here: evolves.com.au/the-privilege-walk/
- Become an Ally! An Ally is someone who supports, empowers or stands up for another person or group of people. It’s all about taking action! Here’s Aunty Munya to explain why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need allies:
RECOGNISE NRW WITH EVOLVE:
Evolve’s inspirational ‘Seven Actions for Allies’ online learning experiences have been designed to help you and your organisation acknowledge NRW and enhance your cultural awareness training.
Whether an individual, small team or large organisation, we’ve got you covered with the following options:
- PRIVATE YARNING WORKSHOP – one spot remains for an exclusive LIVE webinar with your organisation (up to 500 participants) on Monday 31 May.
- GROUP YARNING WORKSHOP – we have room for three more organisations (up to 100 participants) to join our live lunch and learn on Tuesday 1 June.
- ON DEMAND WEBINAR – whether you’re taking individual action or looking for a flexible option for your entire organisation, you can access this webinar from any device at any time from 8am on Thursday.
Only 1/30 people in Australia is Indigenous – we can’t leave it to that one person to make a difference. For Reconciliation to happen, we all need to step up and take action.
So what action will you take? Help inspire others by sharing your commitments in the comments.