This year I am honoured to be an Official Supporter of National Reconciliation Week (NRW). The theme is ‘Let’s Talk Recognition’ and from 27 May- 3 June I’m going to have some fabulous guest bloggers here including Olympian Patrick Johnson, author Jessica Rudd, blogger Luke Pearson, and deadly supporter of Reconciliation, Jill Biddington. Each have generously agreed to talk about why they are grateful for reconciliation and why the process is important to them. I’m looking forward to reading their words. I hope you are too!
In the meantime, here's a short interview I’ve done with Reconciliation Australia on this year’s theme:
Do you believe that recognition is an important part of reconciliation? And if so, why is recognition so important?
I’m proud to be an official supporter of NRW 2012 because I have seen first hand the sense of unity and inspiration created when individuals become part of a communal process that demonstrates respect for Australia’s First Peoples. Recognition means we are valued as citizens, as Australians, and to me that’s major step towards reconciliation in this country.
How does it make you feel when you are recognized for who you are and what you do?
When I am recognised for who I am and what I do, particularly at a community level, it reminds me of my purpose in life. Sometimes we all need that acknowledgement, that affirmation that what we do is important, that our existence means something to someone else.
Why is it important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be recognised for their contributions, particularly during events like NRW?
I personally feel that for much of the year, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are mostly invisible in terms of our positive and generous contributions to Australian society. NRW is at least a concentrated effort to say: ‘Hang on, wait a minute, look at all these amazing people, initiatives and cultures that are available for the whole country to enjoy and engage with. But it’s also the flow on effect of the week that I also look forward to.
What does reconciliation mean to you, and why do you support it?
To me reconciliation means coming together to focus on the positives that bind us, but also the shared effort required to keep us tight as a whole community.
This National Reconciliation Week it couldn’t be any easier to get involved, just head to the NRW site and go crazy with what’s possible.