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CDU recognises National Reconciliation Week

Charles Darwin University (CDU) staff and students are taking part in a range of campus events to mark National Reconciliation Week.
Charles Darwin University (CDU) staff and students are taking part in a range of campus events to mark National Reconciliation Week.

This National Reconciliation Week, Charles Darwin University (CDU) staff and students will be among the many Australians vowing to work together to address disparities and strengthen the relationship between First Nations and non-Indigenous peoples.

Recognised each year from May 27 to June 3 National Reconciliation Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and explore how we can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

‘Be Brave. Make Change’ is this year’s theme and focuses on challenging all Australians to tackle reconciliation so change can be made for all.

Across CDU campuses in Darwin and Alice Springs, CDU staff and students will have an opportunity recognise the significance of National Reconciliation Week and educate themselves on the importance of working towards reconciliation.

A morning tea ‘In conversation’ – Reconciliation discussion will be held at Casuarina Campus with Professor Reuben Bolt and CDU staff on June 2. A truth telling talk and lunch for First Nations students will also be held at the Casuarina campus on June 1, where special guest Robyn Smith will discuss the Colonial Frontier Massacres project.

In Alice Springs, a Welcome to Country and a talk by Arrernte Elder will be followed by afternoon tea for staff and students on campus on June 1.

Both May 27 and June 3 are important dates in Australia’s reconciliation journey and commemorate two significant milestones, the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

CDU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of First Nations Leadership, Professor Reuben Bolt, said it’s important to make changes, even small ones to help close the gap and improve relations between First Nations peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.

“When we consider the importance of Reconciliation, First Nations peoples must be part of the discussion and we must let our communities determine the issues so that we can work together to action change and close the gap,” Professor Bolt said.    

“Reconciliation in the Australian context is complex and far from straightforward, so one way to progress is to work together to recognise these issues and for every Australian to take it upon themselves to be educate about the key issues so that we can enable change.”

CDU College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts Dean, Professor Ruth Wallace said CDU prides itself on commemorating the anniversaries of significant Indigenous struggles and victories.

“At CDU, we recognise First Nations Leadership and work to educate ourselves around First Nations cultures, family, education and well-being aspects and strengthen our community engagement by holding culturally relevant events,” Professor Wallace said.

“This helps to further our understanding and respect of First Nations Peoples, their cultures and histories as well as acknowledging the many contributions First Nations Peoples have made to Australian society including CDU’s wonderful First Nations student cohort.”

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