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National Reconciliation Week

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National Reconciliation Week

Each year Australia marks National Reconciliation Week, where we celebrate Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and promote reconciliation. It is a time to reflect on Australia’s proud Indigenous culture, heritage and communities, and the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples.

2021 marks almost three decades of Australia’s formal reconciliation process and this year's theme ‘More than a Word, Reconciliation Takes Action’ urges everyone to be braver and engage in more impactful action for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 27 May to 3 June is National Reconciliation Week, these dates commemorate two significant milestones in the Australian reconciliation journey—starting with the successful 1967 referendum, when more than 90 per cent of Australian voters chose ‘Yes’ to count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the census. The week ends on the anniversary of Australia’s High Court Mabo decision.

“… A reconciled Australia is one where our rights as First Australians are not just respected but championed in all the places that matter …” Kirstie Parker – Board Member, Reconciliation Australia

Learn more about National Reconciliation Week here.

Our Embassy and Consulates in the United States will be supporting the following activities and events throughout the week:

Film release: Ngu’ngini - Harvesting Traditional Knowledge

Date: 26 May

The film tells the story of how the Peppimenarti community (Northern Territory) continue to prepare bark for their paintings by blending traditional and modern methods. In 2018, after forty years and with the risk of being lost forever, the cultural custodians of Peppimenarti collectively sought to re-instate traditional harvesting practices to support and foster an intergenerational transfer of traditional knowledge and culture that has been passed down for tens of thousands of years. Traditional harvesting knowledge and practices help protect libraries of knowledge, culture, art, and build strength and resilience in collective knowledge sharing.  The Australian Embassy, Washington DC was proud to support this film.

Watch the short film:

Live Virtual Conversation on Indigenous Women’s Role in Reconciliation

Date and time: Thursday, 27 May | 3.30pm PST | 6.30pm EST
Watch the recording:

Hosted by Agency Projects, this live conversation will focus on the vital role Indigenous women play as custodians of and advocates for Australia’s rich and diverse Indigenous cultures.

Panellists

  • Lorraine Kabbindi White is a Kunwinjku Mok clan woman, an independent artist and founding director of Stone Country Creations.
  • Shonae Hobson is a Kaantju woman from Coen, Cape York Peninsula. She currently works as Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). 
  • Nina Fitzgerald is a South-East Darwin/Torres Strait/Cape York woman, a Indigenous Fashion Industry Expert, Artist and curator
  • Bronwyn Lobb, Agency Projects (conversation lead/moderator)

Australian Music Alliance: BREAKERS First Nations Special Edition

Australian Music Alliance (AMA) Breakers is a monthly streaming event showcasing the best of emerging Australian talent in the US.  This month they're showcasing music by Australian Indigenous artists: Emma Donovan, Baker Boy, Dan Sultan and Kaiit. 

Premiered Thursday, 27 May | 6pm PST | 9pm EST
Watch the episode here:

‘What Reconciliation means to me’ video

Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians—as individuals, families, communities, organisations and importantly as a nation. At the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Australia's representatives in the United States highlight their commitment to celebrating Australia’s proud Indigenous culture, heritage and communities, strengthening the bonds between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and our strong support for diversity and human rights.

Virtual discussion and Q&A with Regina Wilson and family - LIVE from Durrmu Art Centre

Date and time: Wednesday, 2 June | 4pm PST | 7pm EST
Register (FREE)

Tune in for a discussion and Q&A with Indigenous leader and artist Regina Pilawuk Wilson and family at Durrmu Art Centre in Peppimenarti. The conversation will focus on how the community is working to protect their ancient heritage and cultural practices.

Regina Wilson
1948 saw the birth of renowned artist Regina Pilawuk Wilson to the Daly River region of the Northern Territory, Australia. A proud Ngan’gikurrungurr woman Regina is one of Australia’s leading Indigenous artists; transforming skills learnt from her mother and grandmothers that preceded her. Her work is highly sought after and housed in collections nationally & internationally. Collectively, Regina is a founder of and matriarch of Peppimenarti. Highly respected for her grace, strength and innovation not only within the community but also by those who meet her.

Jeremiah Wilson
Born in 1993 and raised by Regina and her late husband Jeremiah is an important figure in the running of the art centre, preservation of traditional knowledge and teaching. With his cousin brother Nathon, Jeremiah attended culture day, culture day was an initiative set up by Regina and her late husband “culture comes first. Passed on to us to them” [Regina Pilawuk Wilson]. Once a week young boys would go out with men and learn knowledge. As a capable photographer, Jeremiah holds significance for the continued maintenance and future of the Nimbi collection. 

Nathan Wilson-Ahwon
Nathan was born in Darwin in 1993, the eldest grandchild of Regina Pilawuk Wilson and her late husband. At three years of age Nathan came to Peppimenarti to begin his life here. As custom prescribes Nathan is the traditional owner of the community “he’s big boss for here”[Regina Pilawuk Wilson]. Nathan holds huge responsibility as Traditional Owner and is a significant individual to his contemporaries. Having gained substantial insight from his forefathers, Nathan is a special figure to the younger generation.

Discussion facilitated by Kade McDonald, CEO of Agency Projects, an Australian-based Indigenous cultural diplomacy not for profit. Kade was the Executive Director of Durrmu Arts Aboriginal Corporation for three years and the Coordinator for Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Arts and Cultural Centre for six years. He has been engaged as a cultural consultant for several years implementing cultural maintenance and repatriation projects in collaboration with Community leaders, having worked across Arnhem Land, the Kimberley and the Tiwi Islands.