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March 2020This month we welcome the start of Autumn in Victoria, when the beautiful wattleseed tree is in its fullest bloom.
March is full of significant dates in our shared history, including the 55th Anniversary of the 1965 Freedom Rides on March 21. The Freedom Rides began when a group of University of Sydney students organised a bus tour of western and coastal New South Wales towns with the purpose of drawing public attention to the poor state of Aboriginal health, education and housing. We encourage you to read Aboriginal Elder Wayne Nean’s reflections on the bus’s journey through Moree.
Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings announced last month $950,000 a year for three years under the Strong Roots for Our Futures program. The purpose of the program is to ensure that Traditional Owners not formally recognised under various Acts are part of Victoria’s nation-leading Treaty process. It includes any group not formally recognised under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, the Native Title Act 1993 or Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010. This is a momentous decision within the Treaty process, and a step towards recognition and a voice for all Traditional Owners in Victoria. Read more about the program and what it entails here.
Nominations for the 2020 HART Awards are now open, and I strongly encourage each of you to take the time to read about the Awards and to consider nominating someone. The HART Awards are a valuable time to reflect on the amazing work that is being done in the reconciliation space across Victoria and to acknowledge the people who are driving this work for a better future. If you know anyone that you think fits the bill for one of the award categories, nominate them!
We are looking forward to the Returning Our Ancestors documentary public launch at Fed Square on 24 March. The documentary was made through collaboration between Victorian Traditional Owners and Elders with the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council. It shares some of the difficult but healing journey to return Aboriginal Ancestors to rest on Country. Check out the trailer here. We’ll see you all there!
CEOReconciliation Victoria is part of Grill’d Collingwood’s Local Matters for March! Head down to support the organisation.NEWSNominations for the 2020 HART Awards now open!
If you know an organisation doing great work supporting/advancing reconciliation, encourage them to nominate (or you can also nominate them)! The HART Awards (Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together), launched in 2014, 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 Hart awards.
New Category for 2020. This year, in addition to local government and community group Award categories, the Awards will include a new category for schools and early years centres.
Read more about the 2020 HART Awards and submit your nominations here. Nominations close 22 March at 4pm. Like our Facebook to keep updated on nominations, finalists and how you can stay involved with the Awards.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.In this new documentary, Returning our Ancestors shares some of this difficult but healing journey. It 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 screened on
Saturday 28 March,4 – 8pm, at Federation Square
Other events and screenings will occur all over Victoria throughout 2020. More details soon.
Visit the event link here.National Reconciliation Week 202027 May – 3 JuneApplications for Reconciliation Victoria’s National Reconciliation Week Small Grants are now open!
Reconciliation Victoria is proud to offer small grants to local reconciliation groups, community groups, schools and early learning centres to assist with the planning of events to celebrate National Reconciliation Week 2020, running from May 27 to June 3. There are a limited number of small grants on offer up to $500. Applications will close Monday 30 March, 11.59pm.
Head to our website to read more about National Reconciliation Week 2020 and to submit your application!Belinda DuarteCo-Chair of Reconciliation Victoria and winner of this year’s Parbin-Ata Louisa Briggs Award
Our heartfelt congratulations!Glen Eira City Council and the Boon Wurrung Foundation hosted the Parbin-Ata Louisa Briggs Day on Sunday March 1 to honour and celebrate the life and legacy of a remarkable woman.
On the day, they presented the Parbin-Ata Louisa Briggs Award to acknowledge and celebrate women who live or work in the City of Glen Eira, who have made significant contributions to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the community.
This year, the award was presented to Belinda Duarte, Co-Chair of Reconciliation Victoria. Great, great granddaughter of Louisa Briggs and judging panel Chair Jarra Steel said, “Belinda’s work and achievements embody the spirit of Louisa and her work to change things from within.” Our heartfeltt congratulations to Belinda on being recognised with this award.Grants now available to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2020NAIDOC Week grants support communities to celebrate the histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during NAIDOC Week.Funding is available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations to help meet the costs of local NAIDOC activities such as flag raising ceremonies, family days, art exhibitions and other cultural activities.
The 2020 NAIDOC grant round is now open. Applications close Monday 30 March 2020 at 8pm (AEDT).
Read More.Nominations now open!Close on Sunday 31 May
The Honour Roll recognises achievements of Aboriginal people (both past and present) who have made a profound contribution to their community. To date, 117 outstanding Aboriginal people have been recognised in a wide range of fields, including justice, education, health, sport, the arts, community leadership and military service.
We encourage people to nominate an outstanding individual.
Read more about the Honour Roll and view past inductees here.In My Blood It Runs – Free School ScreeningsWorld Vision and In My Blood It Runs is giving schools the opportunity to run free screenings of the film for their staff and students.World Vision partners with First Nations communities around the country. Their aim is to build a brighter future for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through their community-led Early Childhood and Young Mob youth leadership programs.In the lead up to hosting a screening of the film, you can invite a World Vision representative to talk to students and staff at your school about their work (subject to school location and staff availability.)
Register your school for a screening or share the campaign here.
High Court Ruling
Aboriginal people cannot be considered ‘Aliens’ under the ConstitutionIn the cases of Love vs. High Court of Australia and Thoms vs. High Court Of Australia, the High Court has ruled that Aboriginal people are not subject to the ‘Alien’ powers in the Constitution, and cannot be deported under immigration law.
The court ruled that the three-part test, used to establish Indigenous descent, puts Indigenous people beyond the reach of the constitution’s ‘alien’ powers.
There has been a lot of coverage, positive and negative, about what this decision means and the powers that it gives/takes to law enforcement. The article below provides an overview and some perspective about what the High Court ruling actually means.
It’s a relief that this judgment has been passed, but the case proceedings highlight more than ever that there are still many “fundamental questions of who we are as a nation” that our legal and political systems need to delve into.
Read the full article from NITV here.
Above: Daniel Love was born in PNG in 1979 to a PNG mother and an Aboriginal Australian father.On Wednesday 12 February, Prime Minister Scott Morrison tabled the 12th Closing The Gap Report in Parliament.
The report reveals that the early childhood education and Year 12 attainment targets are on track, while heartening improvements have been made in reading and numeracy, employment and health.
“This year’s report marks a new era for Closing the Gap, and reflects a greater focus on partnership between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In March 2019, the Council of Australian Governments and the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations signed the Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap. The Partnership Agreement is guiding the development of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, which will set out priorities over the next ten years.”To read the full Closing the Gap Report, visit ctgreport.niaa.gov.auShowing solidarity after Invasion DayThe support from non-Aboriginal people at events like Invasion Day can often be powerful.
But how do we encourage non-Aboriginal people to extend that support beyond one day, and into their every day lives?
The article below highlights what true solidarity and allyship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can look like. We encourage everyone to take what they can from its messages into their lives/work.
Read the article here.
As a not-for-profit organisation, we rely on donations and partnerships to help create change and work towards a Victorian identify 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.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.EVENTSPart-conference, part-experimental gathering, this one-day event is here to inspire the next wave of blak entrepreneurs, innovators and changemakers.
Get your ticket here, and read about the evening which starts off with a Welcome to Country, followed by keynote speakers including Joe Williams and Sianna Catullo.
Thursday 5 March
Second Story Studios, Collingwood, Narrm (Melbourne
The evening will end with a party from 9.30 to midnight.Stop deaths in custody of First Nations Sisters
We will remember Ms Nelson-Walker, Tanya Day, Colleen Richman, Ms Dhu, Joyce Clarke, Maureen Manjiarra, Cherdeena Wynne, Veronica Baxter, Rebecca Maher and far too many other Aboriginal women who have died in police and prison custody. We will march in solidarity with the mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers who are demanding justice.
We demand the Victorian State government address the spiralling rate of incarceration of Aboriginal women, most who are un-sentenced and on remand due to law and order hysteria and a tightened bail regime. All the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody must be implemented in full, including that imprisonment be the last resort. We also demand an end to the cover-ups. Those responsible must be held to account. We reject police investigating police and demand elected civilian review boards directly accountable to communities.
You are invited to join the contingent organised by Indigenous Social Justice Association Melbourne that will march as part of International Women’s Day 2020.
Bring your own placard or carry one of ours.
Thursday 5 March
5.30 – 7pm
State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, MelbourneGlobal Indigenous Runway invites you to their annual runway show which showcases Indigenous designers and models.
The event symbolises a blended tapestry of Indigenous talent, skill and beauty. Designers are invited to showcase their collections in front of international buyers before and after the show, with this year’s event supported by GLOBAL Victoria. Places still available for this year’s show!
Don’t miss this chance to experience the incredible design of our Indigenous designers.
More information. Tickets
Sunday 8 March
12 noon – 3pm
Goldfields Theatre, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition CentreThe 2 Worlds Festival will bring two cultures together in a fun, entertaining and interactive festival atmosphere. It will showcase a variety of indigenous and western performers, art, traditional and not-so-traditional activities. A true celebration of culture and walking in 2 Worlds.
Headlining the event will be Xavier Rudd and Kasey Chambers along with a plethora of amazing musicians including Áine Tyrrell, The Black Rock Band, Emma Donovan and The Putback’s, Finnigan August, Honk, Kutcha Edwards, Spoonful, The Louds, Wadeye Journey Men Project and Yirrmal.
There will be a variety of workshops and panels, activities for kids, interactive dance demonstrations and pop up performances from both cultures. More information.
Saturday 14 March
11.30am – 11pm, Birrarung MarrThe Womin Djeka Balnarring Ngargee is a FREE festival designed to promote cross-cultural awareness, bringing community together in a vibrant, family-friendly outdoor event to celebrate First Peoples culture (the oldest living culture in the world) and connecting community to the ancient history of the land we are fortunate to call home.
The festival will take place at local nature reserve Robertson Park, home to Bunjil’s Nest, and the Balnarring Beach Foreshore camping grounds. Opportunities for camping overnight will be available.
This festival is hosted by Highly-Commended Finalists in the Community Organisation category at the 2019 HART Awards!
Saturday 14 March
11:30am – 8pm
Balnarring Foreshore Parks and Reserve, 154 Balnarring Beach RdHave you got 2 hours free on Saturday the 14th of March to maybe help with this fun and very rewarding day? The festival committee would love to hear from anyone interested in assisting with the
For further information, please contact the Balnarring Pre-school via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 5983 5803.Indigenous Rights, Resistance and Resource Management on Gunditjmara Country (Australia) and Mi’kmaq Country (Canada)
This seminar is the first in the Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration’s (ISRC) Critical Public Conversations series.
Damein Bell, CEO of the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and Dr Jane McMillan, a legal anthropologist from Saint Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia Canada, will share their experiences of reinvigorating the cultural, social and political significance of eels and challenges Indigenous resource management in Gunditjmara and Mi’kma’ki. Light lunch provided.
More information and registration
Wednesday 18 March
12 noon – 2pm.
Linkway, 4th Floor, John Medley, The University of MelbourneLake Bolac Eel Festival
“The Lake as Home” is the theme for this year’s festival which sets the intention for our renowned FESTIVAL FORUM.
Bolac has been a significant gathering place for local tribes for thousands of years due to the abundance of short finned eels.
Our humble festival continues in the spirit.
A place to share, learn and celebrate .
Always known for its renowned and emerging musicians, the next Eel Festival will be no different, featuring national living treasure Stephen Pigram from Broome, festival instigator and renowned song man Neil Murray and ARIA award winning songbird Kavisha Mazella. Other talented musicians include Phil & Trudy Edgeley
Jim Willams, Gypsy Smash & Charlotte Harwood.
Friday 20 March – Art Auction
5 – 10pm
Boatshed and Foreshore, Lake Bolac
Saturday 21 March – Festival
11am – 11pm
Boatshed and Foreshore, Lake BolacA cultural interaction. A journey of spirit.
Award-winning Director Amos Roach and Herding Cats M&E
are pleased to present the next Neon Ngargee (Corroboree) for FUSE Darebin.
Traditional Kulin dances and stories told and danced with a spectacular contemporary twist. Our aim to is dance in spaces where First Nations people have historically congregated in Naarm, (Melbourne). To reconnect people to country and culture and to songlines.
Bring a rug and sit in the circle of light, dance with us.
Saturday 21 March
7 – 10pm
All Nations Park, Separation Street, NorthcoteCurated by Bad Apples Music, the Brunswick Music Festival closes with a lush afternoon of free music from some of the hottest First Nations talent around, including Ziggy Ramo, Kee’ahn, Philly, Diimpa, Allara and Dameeeela
Sunday 22 March
4 – 10pm
Shore Reserve, 20 Woodlands Avenue, Pascoe Vale SouthWe 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 – Wurundjeri Eel season
19 March – National Close The Gap Day
21 March – 1965 Freedom Rides (55th Anniversary)
30 March – Anniversary of Gunditjmara Native recognition and settlement Education Free professional development sessions for kindergarten educators delivered by Aboriginal educators with expertise in early childhood education.
Sessions will cover:How to make connections with local Koorie communitiesExploration of resources’Hands-on’, practical experience
Calling for expressions of interest: If you would like this session held in your local area, please contact Kim Powell at Kim@VAEAI.org.au (registrations essential)
Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance that can be used for VIT PD activity recordsCheck 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.Culture 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 Website‘My Australian Dream’ campaign
Culture 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 dreams for Australia.How you can support the campaign:• Follow, Share and Like @cultureislife and #MyAustralianDream on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube
• Join the dream by posting your own #MyAustralianDream posts and learn more about the campaign
• Host 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 WebsitePodcasts
TV • BooksAustralia’s premier Indigenous current affairs program, Living Black provides timely, intelligent and comprehensive coverage of the issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. It reports from some of the most remote areas of Australia, delivering hard hitting news and current affairs stories impacting on communities.
Living Black chases the stories rarely covered by mainstream media and unearth the issues which local people face on a daily basis.
Watch episodes here.Join us on the journey to reconciliation as we listen, learn and share stories from across the country, that unpack the truth telling of our history and embrace the rich culture and language of Australia’s First Peoples.
Watch here.Blood On The Tracks investigates the suspicious death of 17-year-old Mark Haines, whose body was found on the railway line outside Tamworth in January 1988. It follows Indigenous reporter Allan Clarke’s five year investigation to its explosive conclusion.
Listen here.FIRE COUNTRY
How Indigenous Fire Management Could Help Save Australia
by Victor Steffensen
Delving deep into the Australian landscape and the environmental challenges we face, Fire Country is a powerful account from Indigenous land management expert Victor Steffensen on how the revival of Indigenous fire practices, including improved ‘reading’ of country and undertaking ‘cool burns’, could help to restore our nation.
For every copy sold, Hardie Grant will donate $1 to Firesticks, which empowers Indigenous fire management practitioners to revive cultural burning.
Australia 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 SBSBlack ComedyWitty, wacky, sometimes acerbic; an altogether unapologetic comedic exploration of what it means to be black in contemporary Australia.
Wednesday 9pm on ABC.
Watch here on iview.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.
Check out screenings.ExhibitionsExploring the Riverfront with Peter Waples-Crowe
As part of Melbourne Design Week, join Koorie Heritage Trust and artist Peter Waples-Crowe for reflection, conversation and stories about Koorie life and culture on the banks of Birrarung Marr (River of Mists – the Yarra River), as seen through the lens of artworks from the KHT Collection. How was the River of Mists important to local Indigenous culture and daily life? How do objects from the Collection tell these stories and history? How were these objects designed to function in this environment?
Tuesday 17 March 1pm – 2pm
Level 3, Yarra Building, Federation Square
This event is sold out, but you can go a wait list here.Kaiela-Dungala
From textiles to cultural adornment to earthy vessels and skilled weaving reflecting the Kaiela-Dungala (Goulburn Murray) region of Victoria, this exhibition showcases the work from emerging and established artists from Kaiela Arts Shepparton.
Artists in this exhibition include Suzanne Atkinson, Tammy-Lee Atkinson, Amy Briggs, Eric Brown, Dylan Charles, Cynthia Hardie, Eva Ponting, Norm Stewart and Brett Wilson.
Until Sunday 19 April
Koorie Heritage Trust, Gallery 1, Ground Floor, Yarra Building, Federation Square
More information.Two Strong Sisters Connected is the coming together of celebrated Victorian Elders and artists Aunty Eileen Harrison and Aunty Rochelle Patten. The exhibition features new and existing works from both artists.
With over 38 works on display, Two Strong Sisters Connected chronicles the women’s individual stories and shared similarities that extend beyond art despite growing up in different regions of Victoria. Aunty Eileen Harrison is a Kurnai Elder born on Lake Tyers Trust in west Gippsland and Aunty Rochelle Patten is a Yorta Yorta and Wemba Wemba Elder from Mooroopna.
Daily 10am – 5pm
Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Melbourne Museum, Nicholson Street, Carlton
More information.Copyright © 2020 Reconciliation Victoria, All rights reserved.
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