Path to Reconciliation: Working Alongside Aboriginal Australia
14 June 2018
CEWA’s Reflection on Reconciliation Week 2018
This Reconciliation Week CEWA embraced the full meaning of the national theme for 2018: Don’t keep history a mystery: Learn. Share. Grow.
In support of this, CEWA worked in partnership with Aboriginal organisations to ensure their voices led the commemoration of the dispossession of the original inhabitants of this land, and the impact of the Stolen Generation on the Aboriginal people of today.
To mark the start of Reconciliation Week at the Catholic Education Centre in Leederville, Mass was held where prayers asked that wrongs of the past may be recognised, that awareness of the journey so far be awakened, and that the Spirit will move us to contribute to seeking reconciliation and understanding the journey.
Following Mass, staff gathered around the reflection pond to place a native hibiscus flower, the official symbol of Sorry Day, on the lawn to represent Aboriginal children who were forcibly removed from their families as part of the Government’s assimilation policy.
CEWA also partnered with Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation to host the Kerosene Tins and Love Hearts exhibition, a collection of almost 250 works of art and documentary photographs telling the experiences of the stolen generations.
“Through art we celebrate the living history of Aboriginal people, their continued connection to their history and land, and the joy they bring through stories, song and dance to their community and ours,” Dr Edward Simons said.
Over Reconciliation week we witnessed the beauty of shared Christian faith, songs and images absorbed into the 80,000-year history of Aboriginal Australia.
In services held in schools across Western Australia, we let our shared faith guide us to reflect on the actions of those in the past, acknowledging that forgiveness is needed, and offered, by working alongside those who were made vulnerable.