Each year, National
Reconciliation Week marks two important dates in our nation’s history: the 1967 Referendum where more than 90 per
cent of Australians voted to count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
peoples in the national census and give the Government power to make laws for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the High Court Mabo decision which recognised that Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples have rights to the land.
Celebrated from 27 May – 3 June each year, Reconciliation
Week is an important occasion for all Australians; a time when we can all
reflect on how we can positively contribute to reconciliation in our own communities
and how we can build relationships that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples and their unique gifts and stories.
theme of this year’s National Reconciliation Week is: In this together. Over recent weeks and months, it has been
heartening to see a newfound appreciation of how our community can work
together to achieve the common good.
Catholic understanding of reconciliation – being reconciled to God and to each
other – gifts us with a unique appreciation of the need for healing in this
area. We know that only when true reconciliation has been achieved, can we truly
flourish. As Pope John Paul II said in his address to Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples, “You are part of Australia
and Australia is part of you. And the Church herself in Australia will not be
fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until you have made your
contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received
by others.” (Alice Springs, 1986)
task may seem vast – and indeed it is – but there are many ways we can each
meaningfully contribute towards reconciliation being achieved.
are some ways you can celebrate National Reconciliation Week in your parish,
home and family:
- Spend some time looking over
the National Reconciliation Week website. It provides many useful tools and resources
about reconciliation and how it can be achieved.
- View the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry
website. There is a wealth of
resources available, including many useful tools for schools and parishes.
- Read Reconciliation stories
from ordinary Melbourne Catholics just like you, on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
- Light a candle daily with
your family, friends or fellow parishioners and pray for reconciliation to be
achieved. We know it is only ultimately God who can show us the path to true
- Start a Fire Carriers Group
in your school. Learn more here.
- Read Pope John Paul II’s
address to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here.