Reconciliation Vic Newsletter Feb 2020

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this eNews may include images of persons who are deceased.
February 2020As many predicted, 2020 is quickly shaping up to be a significant year for reconciliation in Victoria.
We were excited to see the announcement of the 2020 National Reconciliation Week theme ‘In This Together’, a timely reminder of the role that we all have to play in reconciliation, and that we’ll only find the best path forward by coming together.
This spirit of coming together was evident in the record numbers we saw while attending Invasion Day rallies and Survival Day events across Melbourne. It was so deadly to see an increase in both the quantity and quality of media coverage about January 26, demonstrating the growing awareness in the broader community about the true history of ‘settlement’ in this country, the pain the day causes for so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the need for change in the way historical injustices are addressed.

Let’s not forget the recent bushfires which have had devastating impacts. They are a strong reminder of the importance of protecting and repairing Country through cultural fire and land management practices.

February 13 marks the 12th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations by the Australian Government. It is a time to reflect on the strength and the survival of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by forcible removal. National Apology Day encourages the remembrance of, and apology to, Stolen Generations and those whose lives have been affected by poor government policy and acts of assimilation. Twelve years on from the original policy, members of the Stolen Generations, their families and the wider community continue to call for meaningful reparations. There have been no meaningful reparations in Victoria and many of the Bringing Them Home Report recommendations remain unfulfilled. There is much justice and healing still to be done.

In this eNews there’s exciting news about the HART (Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together) Awards, including the announcement that nominations will open on February 17. To remind yourselves just how brilliant the HART Awards are every year, check out the video from last year’s award ceremony here.
Thanks for your continuing support. Myself and the whole team here at Reconciliation Victoria are looking forward to being ‘In This Together’ with you in the coming months. 
Diana David
CEOThe Reconciliation Victoria Board at the Board Planning Workshop 2020: (from left) Dean Duncan, John Farlow, Michelle Isles (Co-chair), Diana David (CEO), Otis Heffernan-Wooden (staff), Keith Gove, Jay Longworth, Belinda Duarte (Co-chair) and Andrew Gunstone. (absent: Tom Cazaly, Aislinn Martin).NEWSNominations open
17 February 
The annual HART Awards recognise initiatives by local governments and community organisations that are advancing reconciliation in Victoria. Reconciliation Victoria and the Victorian Local Governance Association work in partnership to present the awards.

Read about the 2019 HART Awards and keep an eye out for nomination information on our websiteNEW DOCUMENTARY
 Returning Our Ancestors
Aboriginal peoples’ burial places have been desecrated in the name of curiosity, science and research. Aboriginal Ancestors were stolen from their land where they had been placed with care and ceremony, to be housed in metal boxes as specimens or ornaments of curiosity by individuals, families and institutions.Returning our Ancestors shares some of this difficult but healing journey. The documentary was made by the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council, with the contribution of stories from Victorian Traditional Owners and others. Returning our Ancestors shows us what we can do as a Victorian community to work together for the rightful and respectful return and protection of Aboriginal Ancestors, now and into the future.
The public launch of the documentary will be in the early evening on Saturday 28 March, screened at Federation Square. Save the date. Other events and screenings will occur all over Victoria throughout 2020. More details soon.

Saturday 28 March  4 – 8pm, Federation Square, Melbourne
Visit the event link here.
More information.National Reconciliation Week 2020Reconciliation Australia announced the 2020 National Reconciliation Week theme as ‘In This Together’.

Their Chief Executive Officer, Karen Mundine, said that Australia’s ability to move forward as a nation relies on individuals, organisations and communities coming together in the spirit of reconciliation. The National Reconciliation Week 2020 theme reinforces that we all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures.”

Read the full media release from Reconciliation Australia here.
 National Reconciliation Week: 27 May – 3 June

‘My Australian Dream’ campaignCulture is Life (an Aboriginal not-for-profit), in partnership with The Australian Dream, is excited to launch the ‘My Australian Dream’ campaign. The campaign places Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at the centre of the conversation. It unearths some of their heartfelt desires and extends the invitation to all Australians to share their hopes and dream Australia.How you can support the campaign.Follow Share and Like @cultureislife and #MyAustralianDream on Instagram, Facebook, and YoutubeJoin the dream by posting your own #MyAustralianDream posts and learn more about the campaignHost a screening of The Australian Dream Film and down load the screening guide – this can be intimate in your home or in your school or work place. Click here to host a screening.Culture is Life – My Australian Dream – Educational Resources can be found on the ABC WebsiteIt was so moving to have seen the turnout for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led events in Victoria on January 26 and to have heard the tens of thousands of voices across Australia calling for justice, equality and reparations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Each year this day highlights the continuing shift throughout the nation as more and more supporters stand alongside and listen to the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These protests serve as a large platform to not only discuss our national day, but to also raise awareness for some of the other issues impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Read some of the media coverage of the rallies from ABCNITV and The Guardian.
Following a competitive quote process involving six Aboriginal providers, PricewaterhouseCoopers Indigenous Consulting (PIC) has been appointed to deliver services to facilitate the operational transition from the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission to the recently elected First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.As of Friday 10 January, Jill Gallagher completed her appointment as Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner.

The PIC appointment decision, made by the Assembly’s CEO Recruitment Committee, will see PIC’s Jodie Sizer lead a 100-day transition project commencing on Monday 13 January through to 22 April 2020. Jodie will assume responsibility for managing areas such as risk management and strategic planning. Her role will also be the provision of assistance in the recruitment of an ongoing Assembly CEO.The transition team will also consist of Clinton Benjamin who will provide direct support to Jodie, and Jason Mifsud who will operate as the point person for Assembly Co-Chairs and staff on a day-to-day basis.

Stay up to date on the Assembly by following their Facebook page and website.Another death In Victorian Police custody
The family of a Yorta Yorta woman are demanding answers from the Victorian government, following her death in custody two days after being locked in a maximum security prison for a petty crime.Ms Nelson, 37, had been on a Community Corrections Order when she was charged with shoplifting. After representing herself in court on New Years Eve, she was refused bail and remanded at the Dame Phyllis Frost centre – a maximum security prison. Ms Nelson was found dead in her cell at around 8am on Thursday January 2. Read the full article from NITV here.The world’s top women’s tennis player, Ash Barty, has capped a magnificent year by being honoured as the Young Australian of the Year for 2020.

The 23-year-old from Ipswich in Queensland had a stellar year in 2019, becoming the first Australian woman since Evonne Goolagong Cawley to hold tennis’s world number one ranking.

Read the article from ABC News here.Our biggest heartfelt congratulations to Archie Roach on being named the 2020 Victorian Australian of the Year.

An amazing way to recognise the strength of your spirit and your voice and the impact that they have had not just on Victorians, but on all Australians.

Read the full story here.Support the Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation as we continue providing Indigenous leadership, advocacy and action to protect Country through cultural fire and land management practices.

Firesticks acknowledges Country and Traditional Custodians and serves under their authority. Firesticks is a proven methodology developed over thousands of years of continual cultural practice and evolution. Cultural burning protects and enhances the environment while reducing risk to life and property.

Let’s end these bad fires for good.

To learn more and donate click here.

The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation at the request of ACCHOs in the Gippsland region have become the point of contact for all bushfire donations until such time that a Foundation is established.All donations $2.00 and over are tax deductible. If you need a tax receipt, contact their Finance Team on 03 9411 9411 or send your bank receipt to their accounts department. VACCHO has a merchant facility to also accept donations via credit card. Call the finance team on 03 9411 9411. Donations can be made here.We live, work and play on Aboriginal land. Land that was forcibly taken from Aboriginal people, to whom reparations have never been paid. The Pay The Rent Campaign calls for people to act in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by committing 1% of their income in rent, or what people can afford.

You can read more and make a contribution to the campaign here.“I remember brushing my teeth over the green enamel sink. I would gaze out the window at a prominent grandmother and ponder her age. This grandmother had soft pink skin, smooth and dimpled, and incredible curves that burled in places.”

Read the article by Vanessa Cavanagh, Associate Lecturer, School of Geography and Sustainable Communities, University of Wollongong here.EVENTSYaluk-ut Weelam Ngargee is a FREE Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural festival held annually in St Kilda’s O’Donnell Gardens, a significant contemporary meeting place.

Attend the event to celebrate Australia’s First Nations’ cultures and local talents.  More information here.You are invited to a morning tea organised by Link-Up Victoria in partnership with Connecting Home and the City of Darebin to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations by the Australian Government.

Everyone is welcome to come along and join us in commemorating this very historical day for all people of Australia.

To RSVP or for queries, contact Bev Murray at Link-Up Victoria:

Phone: (03) 7002 3700
Freecall: 1800 687 662

Thursday 13 February
10.00 – 11.30am
Darebin Council Shire HallBush Heritage is bringing the bush to the ‘burbs through personal stories from powerful minds. Stories have been connecting, inspiring and provoking us since the dawn of humanity. They have the power to transport us to a different time and place and can help us see the world through another’s eyes. 

The first of this three-part series, ‘Stories from the Water’, will feature CliFi author Alice Robinson, expert in Indigenous knowledges and thinking; Tyson Yunkaporta, water lawyer; Rebecca Nelson and Indigenous water scientist Bradley Moggridge sharing personal stories. We’ll also be joined by special musical guests The Orbweavers.

More information.

Thursday 13 February
6 – 8pm
Brunswick Mechanics InstituteHume City Council and the Hume Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group invite you to mark the Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations.Join them to hear how the policy of forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families impacted and created the Stolen Generations. Mutti Mutti man Kutcha Edwards, accompanied by Daniel Jauregui on guitar and backing vocals, will relate stories and songs stemming from his personal experiences and those of his family and community. Tracey Evans, a Gundjitmara/Bundjalung woman and a member of the Hume Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, will also share her family’s personal story and hopes ahead for a better future for her people. Please register here.

Thursday 13 February
6 – 8pm
Seminar Room 4, Broadmeadows Hume Global Learning Centre, 1093 Pascoe Vale Road, BroadmeadowsCanadian Indigenous Over-Representation in Criminal Justice: Judicial and Aboriginal Legal Service
Director of Toronto Aboriginal Legal Service and award-winning author on Indigenous litigation, Mr Jonathan Rudin, with UTS discussant Professor Thalia Anthony will discuss Aboriginal initiatives for reducing over-incarceration in Canada and implications for Australia. Jonathan will focus on the reforms to the Criminal Code in Canada, cases flowing from those reforms and the introduction of Gladue Reports by the ALS to sentencing courts – which provide a strengths-based, historical and community-based account of the Aboriginal person’s background. Thalia will discuss some initiatives of this type by Aboriginal Legal Services in Australia. This talk is part of an Australian Research Council Linkage project with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, Five Bridges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Justice Group (Qld) and the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration. 

Register here.

Wednesday 19 February
5.15 – 7.00pm
Ground Floor, Room G08, Melbourne Law SchoolWe respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters of Victoria.

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 Make a Donation to Reconciliation Victoria and help create change in VictoriaLuk – Eel season
Key Dates

4 February 1939 – Cummeragunja Walk Off

13 February – National Apology Day
 As a not-for-profit organisation, we rely on donations and partnerships to help create change and work towards a Victorian identity that reflects our true history, promotes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, equity and self-determination.

Donations are used to fund our ongoing work and projects that support meaningful reconciliation.

We also welcome corporate sponsorships and partnerships. Please contact us to discuss opportunities, or donate by visiting our webpage.The Maggolee website, developed by Reconciliation Victoria, includes information on policy and programs, protocols and cultural awareness, Traditional Owner groups and local Aboriginal organisations, Aboriginal languages, key local contacts, news and events.

It contains information about each of the 79 Victorian local government areas, and about actions councils can take across key function areas to build closer relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and to progress reconciliation. 

Maggolee has also proven to be a useful resource for teachers, educators and the wider community.EducationCheck out the latest Narragunnawali News containing information about reconciliation in Australia, ideas for driving reconciliation in schools and early learning services, and highlights of great things happening in schools and early learning services across the country.Stream the film. Request the DVD. Access the resources.

Education resources for schools, sporting clubs and community organisations.
Available here.Podcasts
TV • BooksAustralia is full of diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations. From Bunuba to Wiradjuri, Mabuiag to Palawa, every mob has its own language and unique culture. 

Each episode of Little Yarns will take you on a journey to a different nation to learn a first word on Country.

Listen to Little Yarns here.A brand new podcast has started up with NITV, Take It Blak, co-hosted by Jack Latimore and Rae Johnston. The first episode focuses on discussion around January 26. You can listen to the first episode here.Tiddas 4 Tiddas was started as an initiative designed to empower young black women to know their worth and what they’re capable of. Tidda means sister, and in this podcast series we’ll bring to life stories of some of the countries deadliest Indigenous sisters. Hosted by Tiddas founder Marlee Silva in partnership with Mamamia, this show is about raising awareness and inspiring Indigenous excellence in the hopes that one day, we’ll all stand together.

Check out the podcasts here.Little J and Big Cuz
Little J, he’s five and Big Cuz, she’s nine. They’re a couple of Indigenous Australian kids living with their Nanna and Old Dog. Little J and Big Cuz are busy with the ups and downs of playground and classroom. There’s always something surprising going on whether it’s at school, in the backyard…or beyond. The gaps in Nanna’s ramshackle fence lead to Saltwater, Desert and Freshwater Country. With the help of Nanna and their teacher Ms Chen, Little J and Big Cuz are finding out all about culture, community and country.

Fridays 7.30pm on SBS
ABC’s Black Comedy returns Wednesday 5 February.
Stay tuned!FilmsIn My Blood It RunsMeet ten-year-old Dujuan, a child-healer, a good hunter and speaks three languages, as he discovers the resilience and resistance of many generations of his people and faces the history that runs straight into him. As he shares his wisdom of history and the complex world around him we see his spark and intelligence, yet Dujuan is ‘failing’ in school and facing increasing scrutiny from welfare and the police. As he travels perilously close to incarceration, his family fight to give him a strong Arrernte education alongside his western education lest he becomes another statistic. We walk with him as he grapples with these pressures, shares his truth and somewhere in-between finds space to dream, imagine and hope for his future self.The release will begin with an outdoor premiere event on Dujuan’s homeland in partnership with Children’s Ground, and ending in Canberra where he hopes to address Scott Morrison about youth incarceration and the importance of a First Nations led education system.The cinema release will be accompanied by a Q&A tour in select cities – many of which are nearly sold out, so be sure to grab your tickets now. Q&A tickets: On sale nowGeneral release: On sale 18 Feb More info at: www.inmyblooditruns.comFB: @inmyblooditrunsdocumentary || Instagram/Twitter: @inmybloodtirunsGurrumulA documentary from SBS

Celebrated by audiences at home and abroad, Indigenous artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was one of the most important and acclaimed voices to ever come out of Australia. Blind from birth, he found purpose and meaning through songs and music inspired by his community and country on Elcho Island in far North East Arnhem Land. Living a traditional Yolngu life, his breakthrough album ‘Gurrumul’ brought him to a crossroads as audiences and artists around the world began to embrace his music.

Watch here.Exhibitions7th Koorie Art ShowThe Koorie Art Show is the Koorie Heritage Trust’s annual event showcasing the diverse talent of Victoria’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in one inclusive space.The Koorie Art Show is an open-entry, non-acquisitive award exhibition, presenting the works of emerging to senior, Koorie and Victorian based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists aged 17 years and above.All entered works are eligible for several awards.

Saturday 7 December 2019 –
Sunday 23 February 2020

The Yarra Building
Federation Square

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