National Reconciliation Week
As National Reconciliation Week commences on May 27 we reflect on how all Australians can learn about shared history, cultures and achievements. This year’s theme is Grounded in Truth: Walk together with Courage.
At the heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To foster positive race relations, our relationship must be grounded in a foundation of truth.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have long called for a comprehensive process of truth-telling about Australia’s colonial history. Our nation’s past is reflected in the present, and will continue to play out in future unless we heal historical wounds.
Today, 80 per cent of Australians believe it is important to undertake formal truth telling processes, according to the 2018 Australian Reconciliation Barometer. Australians are ready to come to terms with our history as a crucial step towards a unified future, in which we understand, value and respect each other.
This National Reconciliation Week, we invite Australians from all backgrounds to contribute to our national movement towards a unified future.
The College this year launched its Reconciliation Action Plan as a sign of its commitment to reconcile with the first Australians. The RAP is a 'living' document and seeks to provide an authentic expression of commitment to genuine reconciliation. A summary of our RAP can be found at - SVC Reconciliation Action Plan
The College community will this week participate in a range of activities to show our commitment to reconciliation, including:
In the Classroom
- Old Virgilian Trent Prouse working with ATSI students
- Grade 8 French classes exploring the French Connection in Aboriginal Tasmania
Around the School
- Reconciliation Focus at the Prefect’s Assembly
- Reuben Oates Artwork displayed in the Library
With the Community
- Look out for Theo Hart participating in ceremony at the Indigenous Round AFL game in Launceston
- Reconciliation focus in College newsletter the STAR
- On Country putalina/Oyster Cove professional learnign activity for staff
- Support for the Reconciliation Tasmania Breakfast at Wrest Point
The relationship between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians needs healing. Our Catholic Church has at its foundation the principle of reconciliation. The insights about reconciliation which we find in our long tradition of penance and reconciliation offer a model for something that is fundamentally human. These insights help us to better understand what is needed if the process of reconciliation in Australia is to be truly authentic.
The Church must work for reconciliation if it is to be, as Vatican II suggested, a sacrament of unity both with God and among peoples. The mission of the Church is to be at the service of the whole of humanity in making the unity achieved in Christ a living reality. This must be demonstrated in the quality of relationships between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people and for the wellbeing of our first Australians it must become a priority for our nation.
Holy Father, God of Love,
You are the Creator of all things.
We acknowledge the pain and shame of our history
and the sufferings of Our peoples,
and we ask your forgiveness.
We thank you for the survival of Indigenous cultures
Our hope is in you because you gave your Son Jesus
to reconcile the world to you.
We pray for your strength and grace to forgive, accept and love one another, as you love us and forgive and accept us in the sacrifice of your Son.
Give us the courage to accept the realities of our history so that we may build a better
future for our Nation.
Teach us to respect all cultures.
Teach us to care for our land and waters.
Help us to share justly the resources of this land. Help us to bring about spiritual and social change to improve the quality of life for all groups in our communities, especially the disadvantaged.
Help young people to find true dignity and self-esteem by your Spirit.
May your power and love be the foundations on which we build our families, our communities and our Nation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.