National Reconciliation Week has been celebrated differently this year in Forbes. National Reconciliation Week is celebrated from 27 May to 3 June each year with these dates commemorating the anniversaries of the 1967 referendum and the Mabo decision. The week-long celebration calls for Australians to explore and engage in the conversation of reconciliation.
While Forbes Preschool would normally invite families and partners from the community into the preschool for a BBQ and activities, this year has seen a focus on discussion and understanding.
Forbes Preschool won the 2019 Narragunnawali for their implementation of the principles of reconciliation. These principles aim to foster pride and knowledge in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.
Preschool Director Amy Shine said that this year, in the yarning circle, children and educators discussed “who we are and where we belong.” Amy added that the preschool has been utilising social media to connect to and engage with the community.
Forbes is fortunate to have Wiradjuri elders who bring so much cultural enrichment and historical insight into the area, with many having witnessed tremendous change in their lifetimes.
While the usual Reconciliation Week celebrations couldn’t go ahead this year due to restrictions and Dreaming Centre upgrades, “It’s still important for non-Aboriginal Australians to learn about the history of this ancient land,” said Wiradjuri elder Aileen Allen.
“To me, reconciliation is about closing the gap together and we are making steady progress,” adding “respect and understanding go hand in hand.”