Marking Reconciliation Week during a pandemic

Reconciliation Week looks a little different this year. Following National Sorry Day, it represents a time to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements.

This excellent article in the Huffpost gives the microphone to some of our most prominent indigenous Australians. Together they explain what Reconciliation Week is, why it so important to them and how you can participate in this year’s celebrations.

The theme of this year’s Reconciliation Week is “In this together” – a phrase that has taken on extra meaning as the world grapples with the current pandemic. The Conversation has published a range of deep-dive articles. Starting with this great read on the status of the Uluru Statement of the Heart, it further investigates how the coronavirus crisis has impacted Aboriginal people. This final article argues that local-level decision-making is vital in Indigenous affairs and that government should listen more often.

Rio Tinto marked the start of Reconciliation Week by blasting away an ancient Aboriginal site in the expansion of its iron ore mine in the Western Pilbara. It destroyed rock shelters dating back 46,000 years that had deep historical and cultural significance. It was the only inland site in Australia showing human occupation continuing through the last Ice Age. You can read how and why this was allowed to happen in this ABC News report.

Reconciliation Week runs from 27 May to 3 June.