Every year National Reconciliation Week, held between 27 May and 3 June, is held to foster respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.
The week is framed by two major reconciliation milestones in Australian history, the successful 1967 Referendum (27 May) and the High Court Mabo ruling (3 June). This year, students and staff dedicated their time to learning about the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through special activities and events.
The theme this year was Don’t Keep History A Mystery and invited all Australians to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share and to grow. First initiated in 1996 the aim of the week is to celebrate indigenous history and culture and develop reconciliation conversations and activities.
Activities were held across the School as part of National Reconciliation Week with students across all year levels embracing the theme of reconciliation. There were student-led assemblies, a moving Acknowledgement of Country pledge, Indigenous and Australian flag creations and Library Displays at our Senior Libraries.
Year 9 student Lexie Wooller had this to say about the week:
For me, being part of the Reconciliation Team at Ivanhoe has been an eye-opening experience. I have worked with many members of the school community to weave reconciliation into the fabric of the school. It was through raising awareness about this topic that I learnt that a large part of reconciliation is not just about acknowledgement but about what we as a community can learn from our nation’s first people, rather than what we can learn about them.
Year 5 student Zara Shaw's Reflection
National Reconciliation Week was a time for all of us to reflect and acknowledge what happened in the past between the Indigenous and the European settlers hence the theme for this year “Don't Keep History a Mystery.” In Buckley House the four Global Ambassadors Zara, Jayla, Rohan and Isaac, composed a Whole School Assembly featuring:
What are the Global Goals? - Isaac
Why do we say sorry? - Rohan
What happened in the past between the Indigenous and the European settlers? -Zara
Some well- known Indigenous people - Jayla
We all learnt that we need to respect each other no matter what race you are or beliefs you have we are all equal. At the end of the Assembly each class was assigned a classroom activity. Every single student designed their own flag for Australia. Some students started their flag from scratch whereas others incorporated the Aboriginal flag, the Torres Strait Islander flag, and the current flag. Overall it was a very important event I hope everyone took something out of it.