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Lutheran Care hosts events during National Reconciliation Week

Lutheran Care hosts events during National Reconciliation Week

Lutheran Care hosted a National Reconciliation Week event for its staff and Foster Care families at Family Zone Ingle Farm on Friday, as well as other activities during the week to give everyone an opportunity to learn and celebrate the cultures that have shaped this continent for countless generations.

The event at Family Zone included activities for the whole family and featured a silk painting led by cultural education organisation Kumarninthi. Kumarninthi’s workshops are a unique and engaging way to explore and connect with Aboriginal culture, while learning about the traditional art symbols that have been used for generations to express stories and identity.

Other activities throughout the week included two screenings of short films from Country Arts SA’s Nunga Screen initiative, which shares and celebrates First Nations culture, stories and language through film.

Staff gathered throughout the week to watch the short films together, and prior to the screenings, Lutheran Care’s Aboriginal Engagement Worker Emily McConnell highlighted the importance of National Reconciliation Week.

“Let me ask you, what does reconciliation mean to you?” Emily encouraged staff to consider.

“For me it is healing the hurt that has been caused to yourself, your family and your ancestors. It is sharing love, learning together and teaching future generations. It is being in unity and equality in our own country and living alongside each other. And not just being a box that can be ticked for organisations, services and departments.

“Reconciliation can only be achieved if we all work together. When we look at current times, reconciliation seems to be on the shoulders of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We need a common understanding of what reconciliation means to see any progress in Australia during our lifetimes. We need to be in unity while we walk alongside each other instead of working in solitary and keeping quiet. The job of reconciliation can not be done alone and can only be achieved if we work towards reconciliation side by side.”

Following the screenings, staff engaged in insightful discussions, which included recommendations for educational films to watch in the future.

Lutheran Care’s Chief Executive Officer Rohan Feegrade said this year’s NRW theme, ‘Now More Than Ever’, serves as a powerful reminder to all of us of the ongoing fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and why it is important that this fight continues.

“Reconciliation Week is not just a time for reflection, but also a call to action for all Australians to deepen their understanding of the past, acknowledge the ongoing impacts of colonisation and celebrate the resilience and significant contributions of First Nation’s peoples. By doing so, we can build a more inclusive and united future,” Mr Feegrade said.

“At Lutheran Care, we are committed to playing our part in this journey of reconciliation. We believe that through truth telling and listening, education, open dialogue and respectful partnerships, we can support and champion the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to listen to their stories and to continue finding ways to build a community that truly values reconciliation.”

National Reconciliation Week runs from May 27 to June 3 every year, commemorating two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.