Reconciliation Vic Newsletter Jan 2020

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this eNews may include images of persons who are deceased.
January 2020It is with great anticipation that the Reconciliation Victoria team enters 2020, a year already filled with opportunity for the reconciliation movement. With the recent announcement for the 2020 NAIDOC week theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, this year presents us with the opportunity to continue to acknowledge and celebrate the 65 000+ years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history in this country (our true history) and the significance that being home to the oldest surviving culture in the world should play in modern day Australia.
This year will be an important year in the Treaty process, with the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria well and truly established. The First People’s assembly will not negotiate treaty/ies instead it will work with the state of Victoria to prepare for treaty negotiations, Including: a Treaty Authority (an Independent Umpire), a Treaty Negotiation Framework (a road map to show how local groups can negotiate their own treaty/ies), and a Self-determination Fund (to help build capacity at a local level). 
The Victorian Local Government Bill 2019 has been introduced for discussion in parliament and includes a re-defined explanation for municipalities that captures Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities as part of their definition. This means that councils will be more accountable to engage with Aboriginal communities in their decision-making processes. It is encouraging to see local government creating policy that incorporates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s self-determination.
My thoughts go out to all those affected by the fires currently burning throughout Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the ACT. The impacts of these fires have been devastating, but it is a testament to the Australian spirit that in times of struggle we can put aside differences and come together to support, recover and rebuild. My heartfelt thank you to all of the firefighters and volunteers who are working tirelessly. To anyone looking for resources about Aboriginal fire and land management practices, have a read of Barry Hunter’s blog here. Also the Indigenous Firesticks Alliance – Cultural Burning: healthy communities, healthy landscapes.
Thank you,
Diana David
CEOJANUARY 26 NEWSReconciliation Victoria Resources on January 26
Reconciliation Victoria encourages a continuing and respectful national conversation about the suitability of celebrating our national day on January 26. This conversation would help us reflect on who we are as a nation, what we stand for, and what date in our history best reflects those values and attributes.

In December, we wrote to the Mayors and CEOs of Victoria’s 79 councils encouraging them to carefully consider how they commemorate the day, urging them to consult with their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities about their approach to the day. We provided some simple ways to mark January 26 respectfully (if they choose to mark the day at all), and acknowledge members of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

You can read Reconciliation Victoria’s Position Statement on January 26 here and access a more extensive list of Protocols and Suggestions for how to approach January 26 here. Please share with your networks and feel free to contact our office for further information.More Victorian local councils changing their approach to Jan 26Reconciliation Victoria commends the approach of councils such as the City of Port Philip, City of Ballarat and City of Whittlesea who will hold dawn ceremonies as part of their Australia Day commemorations (Whittlesea starting in 2021). These ceremonies are an effort to acknowledge the issues surrounding the day and recognise the loss and hurt it represents for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We would also like to acknowledge other Victorian local councils, such as YarraDarebinMoreland, Mt Alexander and Moonee Valley who have been leading the way for a few years in reconsidering their approach to January 26 and consulting with Traditional Owners in their communities to inform their approach.

We were especially pleased to see the CEO of the City of Ballarat working closely with the Koorie Engagement Action Group (KEAG) to change their approach to the day, and have chosen to implement some of Reconciliation Victoria’s Jan 26 protocols and guidelines to adopt a more respectful and inclusive approach to the day. Read the CEO’s letter to KEAG via Facebook.

Congratulations to all involved, and especially the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and others who advocate tirelessly to work with local councils on these changes in approach.
January 26 Event Information available at the end of this eNews.NEWSFiresticks Alliance Fundraiser: Empower Firesticks Practitioners To Restore Cultural Fire
Evidence shows where cultural burning has been implemented it has helped protect communities from impacts of bushfires and looked after the land. The Alliance is calling for investment to support cultural fire knowledge holders and mentors across Australia to train over 100 Firesticks accredited Cultural fire practitioners skilled in applying their cultural fire knowledge, western fire management and emergency response. 

Support the Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation as they 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.

Every donation counts. If you can please donate. To learn more and donate click here.

Fundraiser: Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities
As Fires have struck the East Coast of this sacred land recently it has lead to significant destruction and loss of masses of flora and fauna and sadly the lives of peoples. Very sadly, many First Nations peoples’ have been affected by these tragic circumstances with loss of homes/severe damage to property and important parts of the landscape.  Many of these community have now been forced to evacuate the regions of their homes and forced to seek temporary/ongoing living arrangements in other parts of Victoria and NSW.

Every donation counts. If you can, please donate to the fire relief fund for First Nations communities here.

Read more about why young Yorta Yorta advocate, Neil Morris started the campaign here.Meet the all-female Indigenous fire crew protecting community, family and sacred land
In a tinder-dry continent, during the most dangerous fire season on record, Sue Smethurst meets the all-female Indigenous fire crew that are fighting to protect community, family and sacred land.

Read their article with Women’s Weekly here.
 Cultural burning is about more than just hazard reduction
Shaun Hooper is a Wiradjuri man, a Fire Behaviour Analyst, volunteer fire fighter, and a cultural burning practitioner currently doing his post grad studies on cultural burning.

Read his piece about the current bushfires and the purposes and necessity of cultural burning here.Our country is burning
Read Natalie Cromb’s piece for IndigenousX about the wildfires currently burning around Australia and colonisation’s role in bringing our country to this environmental disaster. You can view the full article here.Djab Wurrung Embassy update
The Federal Court has upheld an appeal by four members of the Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy on Friday over the rejection of an application to have six culturally significant trees protected from an upgrade to the Western Highway.

In his ruling, Judge Alan Robertson identified a “legal error” made by the federal Environment Minister in her assessment that the protection of five trees considered special and sacred to the Djab Wurrung applicants would preserve the significance of the area’s cultural landscape.

Read the full article for more information.

Visit the Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy Facebook to keep up to date with any news and to learn more about how you can help.Inaugural Assembly meeting
Victoria reached another historic milestone on the Treaty journey when the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria gathered for the first time in Parliament House on 10th – 11th December 2019.Highlights from the gathering can be found on their website and on their Facebook.2020 NAIDOC theme announced!
For over 65 000+ years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have maintained, cared for, and lived on this land. 250 years ago, when colonisation began, sovereignty was not ceded by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Sovereignty has never been ceded.

This year’s NAIDOC theme recognises the true and ancient history of this land and its Traditional Owners, not just the 250 years since colonisation began.

Visit the NAIDOC website for updates and more information.Indigenous affairs year in review
ABC News released an article at the end of 2019 highlighting some of the key moments in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs for the past year.

Read the full article here.
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.OTHER EVENTSTunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner CommemorationMelbourne Event

In 1842 two Indigenous freedom fighters, Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner, were the first men executed in Victoria. Since 2004 the Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner Commemoration Committee has worked towards the building of a monument in Melbourne to mark this pivotal event. The Melbourne City Council had the foresight and courage to support this project and funded the building of a monument at the execution site, at the corner of Victoria St and Franklin St, opposite the Old Melbourne Gaol, in September 2016. This is the first monument to the Frontier Wars that has been built in a major city in this country.

All are invited to attend the Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner Commemoration which will be held at the Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner monument at midday, Monday 20th January 2020 at the corner of Victoria St and Franklin St, Melbourne.

Monday 20 January 2020
12.00 – 2.00pm
Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner Memorial, Cr Frankling St and Bowen St, MelbourneBlakitecture: Deep ListeningMPavilion’s third annual BLAKitecture forum brings together Indigenous built environment practitioners on the Yaluk-ut Weelam land of the Boon Wurrung people. The forum aims to centralise Indigenous voices in conversations about architecture, the representation of histories, the present state and the future of our built environments. BLAKitecture 2019/20 is co-curated by MPavilion’s program consultant Sarah Lynn Rees and Jack Mitchell.

RSVP here.

Tuesday 21 January 2020
6.15 – 7.15pm
MPavilion, Queen Victoria GardensJANUARY 26 EVENTSInvasion Day Dawn Service
We join to commemorate all Sovereign First Peoples who defended and died in the Frontier Wars, massacres across Australia, as well as those who continue to die in custody to this day.

Through their resilience, courage, bravery and sacrifice protecting families, communities and Country they will always be remembered.

We recognise that colonisation and genocide are ongoing processes that continue to this day and that Sovereignty over Country was never ceded.
This always was and always will be Aboriginal land.

#WeAlwaysRemember January 26. For more information, visit the event link here.

Sunday 26 January 2020
5.30 – 6.30am
Kings Domain Resting PlaceWe-Akon Dilinja
(meaning Mourning Reflection) 
The Boonwurrung Land and Sea Council in partnership with the City of Port Phillip are hosting a reflective gathering as part of the City’s 2020 Australia Day events.
The gathering will be held on:

Sunday 26 January
6:00 – 7:00am
Alfred Square, on the Upper Esplanade
St Kilda
Through traditional music, speakers and readings, the ceremony will recognise the journey and experience of the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung people or language group and will be followed by a Citizenship Ceremony at St Kilda Town hall scheduled for 11.00 amBalit Narrun – Strong Spirit 
Share the Spirit Festival is Victoria’s largest and longest running First Peoples’ music festival. An inclusive event which draws on the collective talent, support and passion of the local Aboriginal community in the delivery of a jam packed program of music, dance and cultural activities.

Like their Facebook page to keep up to date with event news and details.

Sunday 26 January 2020
12 – 7pm⁣
Treasury Gardens, Melbourne CityBelgrave Survival Day
Belgrave Survival Day celebrates Indigenous culture with live music, dance, discussion, food and activities for all the family.

Belgrave Survival Day is an annual event on January 26th (Australia Day) and presents an opportunity for people in the area to celebrate the survival of Australian Indigenous people, their culture and heritage.

Follow their Facebook for updates or visit here for event information.

Sunday 26 January 2020
12.00 – 5.00pm
Borthwick Park, Cnr Benson Rd and Blair Rd, Belgrave

Belgrave Survival Day Volunteer Call Out

Belgrave Survival Day relies on volunteers to make the day a  success.  If you are interested in giving 2 hours or more of your time between 10 am and 5 pm on Sunday 26th January 2020, they will provide you with a food and drink voucher and all the gratitude they can muster.  
To express your interest, text their volunteer co-ordinator, Cyndi on 0413 952 940 with your name and the word ‘VOLUNTEER’ and she will call you back.Bunjil’s Marroun Healing Ceremony
Moonee Valley City Council will be hosting Bunjil’s Marroun healing ceremony to respectfully acknowledge the pain and suffering experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Come along to Bunjil’s Marroun Healing Ceremony for an Acknowledgement of History by a Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elder and performance by Uncle Kutcha Edwards and his band.

Sunday 26 January 2020
5.00 – 6.30pm
5 Mile Creek Reserve, 2 Government Rd, Essendon

For more info, see MVCC’s website.

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters of Victoria.Follow on FacebookFollow on TwitterEmail usSign up to receive this news monthlyPlease share this eNews with your networks. If you have any events or news items you’d like us to include please email the office.
 Make a Donation to Reconciliation Victoria and help create change in VictoriaBiderap – Wurundjeri 
dry season (high summer) 

Key Dates

26 January: Invasion/Survival Day 26 Jan 1770: Captain Cook’s First Arrival

26 Jan 1972: Aboriginal Tent Embassy established
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.Decolonising The Shelf: A special series in celebration of the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Available here.Reconciliation Victoria recently developed a resource for non-Aboriginal people to understand the diversity of voices within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and how non-Aboriginal people’s actions should be informed by these voices amidst a changing reconciliation landscape.

The toolkit was developed based on discussions with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guest speakers at our October 2019 State Reconciliation Forum.

Access the toolkit here.Podcasts
TV • Film BooksPolitics, arts and culture from a range of Indigenous perspectives.Speaking Out broadcasts on Radio National on Fridays at 8pm (repeated Tuesdays 2am) and on ABC Local Radio on Sundays at 9pm.

Catch up on previous episodes here.AWAYE! presents diverse and vibrant Aboriginal arts and culture from across Australia.Saturday 6pm. 
Repeated: Tuesday 12pm, Thursday 1am.

Listen to episodes here.Cooee Mittigar, meaning Come Here Friend, is an invitation to yana (walk), on Darug Country. In this stunning picture book, Darug creators Jasmine Seymour and Leanne Mulgo Watson tell a story on Darug Songlines, introducing children and adults-alike to Darug Nura (Country) and language.

Grab your copy here.ABC’s Black Comedy season 4 returns February 2020. Stay tuned!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

More information.Manggan – gather, gathers, gathering
From the diverse landscapes of Far North Queensland and a culture spanning countless generations, Manggan shares knowledge through the recent works of Indigenous artists from Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre, alongside collection objects from the South Australian Museum and Museums Victoria.

Manggan features an exciting range of artistic media, weaving together traditional and contemporary baskets (Jawun), ceramic fire spirits (Bagu), photography and film. Join us to celebrate the artwork of the wet and dry tropics.

Open until 27 January 2020

Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Melbourne Museum

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