Ballarat To Commemorate Reconciliation Week 2024

The City of Ballarat will commemorate National Reconciliation Week with a series of events next week.

In Ballarat, the week will begin with a Wadawurrung Welcome and cultural ceremony and flag raising in Queen Victoria Square, followed by a morning tea and Reconciliation Action Yarning Circle in the Ballarat Town Hall.

The Yarning Circle event will include representatives from Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, The Yarning Garden, the Koorie Engagement Action Group (KEAG), and City of Ballarat officers who are working on projects related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Ballarat Library will also host ‘The Taken – Photo Exhibition Acknowledging Stolen Generations’ from Sunday 26 May until early June. The public exhibition has been co-designed with Ballarat Elder and Stolen Generations survivor Uncle Murray Harrison and photographer David G. Jones. Aunty Vicki Peart from the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative was engaged to work with the library to support the exhibition.

The theme for 2024 National Reconciliation Week throughout Australia is “Now More Than Ever” and reflects society’s collective need to push back against divisiveness and foster a culture of respect and unity.

The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

City of Ballarat Councillor, Cr Belinda Coates said there remained a lot of work ahead to continue building trust with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, following a difficult period surrounding the 2023 Australian Indigenous Voice referendum.

“We know that racism remains a significant problem in Australia and it is vital we continue to acknowledge the wrongs of the past to move forward together,” Cr Coates said.

“Reconciliation Week is a week to celebrate progress that is being made, but also confront the persistent challenges that threaten our journey towards true reconciliation and mutual respect.”

For the first time, a Ballarat First Nations Events webpage has been created where community members can not only see the events taking place in Ballarat, but also share other First Nations events with the community.

The website promotes local events such as a free ‘Gardens for Wildlife Ballarat’ walk at the Botanic Gardens, discounted theatre experiences such as ‘Facing Up’ at the Wendouree Performing Arts Centre and activities happening at Parent Place, Ballarat Libraries and Civic Hall.

The website was created by the City of Ballarat in consultation with the Koorie Engagement Action Group (KEAG) Advisory Committee, which is also instrumental in planning and delivering Monday’s Flag Raising and Morning Tea Yarning Circle.

The delivery of National Reconciliation Week is consistent with the City of Ballarat’s Draft Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, Inclusion Framework and Intercultural Plan.

The City of Ballarat is in the final stages of completing its updated Reconciliation Action Plan 2024-2026, which outlines the organisations commitment to reconciliation.

The City of Ballarat will be implementing the “Innovate RAP”, as set out by Reconciliation Australia, which is designed to focus on strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and pilot strategies for further reconciliation commitments and to support and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Visit the Reconciliation Australia website for more National Reconciliation Week information and the City of Ballarat website to learn more about local Reconciliation Week information.

For a full list of National Reconciliation Week activities in Ballarat, visit the Ballarat First Nations Events webpage.

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