Thursday May 30 Recap: Reconciliation Week


National Reconciliation Week occurs annually from the 27th May to 3rd June and is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The 2019 theme is Grounded in Truth, Together We Walk with Courage.

Dr. Leanne Holt and Phil Duncan of Macquarie University's Walanga Muru and Fujitsu's Blaise Porter kicked off the afternoon by discussing how we can build meaningful, sustainable, reciprocal relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and become a more culturally safe, informed and responsive community. They also highlighted how we can create meaningful connections with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, exchange ideas about reconciliation, and forge new collaborations that will have positive impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander success.

We also showcased 2 inspiring programs and people who are innovating in the name of Indigenous peoples and culture. Rhett Loban showed us how Torres Strait Virtual Reality uses virtual reality technology to enable a new way of learning and depicting a First Nation person’s experience, whilst Jesse Slok shared the Bawurra Foundation’s vision of using technology to improve educational outcomes and celebrate the rich oral history of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Macquarie University’s Tracy Rushmer, Associate Dean Higher Degree Research and Catherine Ennis, HDR Industry Engagement and Placements Manager then taught us how we can tap into new worlds of innovation and opportunity by opening our organisations up to new PhD talent, skills and thinking through the APR Intern initiative. There are subsidised federal government programs which enable you to leverage the talent and expertise of PhD researchers, so check our APR Intern for more information.

We were treated to a beautiful performance from Aunty Cynthia and her family, followed by the 2019 Reconciliation Awards. Congratulations to the winners of the Reconciliation staff award and the student writing competition! Phil Duncan then wrapped up the formalities with the live art auction and raffle.

Our catering this week was provided by Yaama Catering, who treated us to some beautiful indigenous dishes. Thank you!