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Make a date - for reconciliation

29 May 2023
Spirit of Reconciliation

Dates and anniversaries are a staple of our lives. These numbers on a calendar celebrate the date of our birth, when we became engaged or married, or when a beloved family member or friend passed away. Sometimes they are the bases for extravagant rituals, and at others we prefer to simply ignore them (who's looking at you, 60?).

Anyone who has dipped into the Acknowledgment of Country roster will have noticed that some weeks have key dates attached. We include these to help raise awareness of the issues confronting First Nations people in Australia, and hope that you will do some investigating of your own by clicking the links. You don't have to address it as part of your Acknowledgment, yet some do, and it helps open up conversations around the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

It's not all about history though. Some of the dates – like this week's National Reconciliation Week – speak to the world in which we live now and ask us to reflect on how we can offer mutual learning and respect with the oldest living continuous civilisation in the world.

National Reconciliation Week – NRW 2023 – Mabo – Referendum.

The week begins and ends with dates of historical significance: May 27 honours the Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, and June 3 honours Eddie Koiki Mabo and the work he did overturning the colonial notion that Australia was terra nullius, a land belonging to no-one. Both dates are significant in that they indicate progress and recognition for First Nations People.

For the past three years, staff at Brisbane North PHN have participated in a group Acknowledgment of Country that is then posted to our socials during National Reconciliation Week. It's a fun activity with serious intention: the acknowledgement that where we work, where we live, and where we raise our families and meet with friends all happens on Aboriginal land.

For previous versions of the group Acknowledgment, see video recordings from 2021 and 2022.


Pictured: Flowing Knowledge, Healing Country - an artwork created by Riki Salam of We Are 27 Creative for Brisbane North PHN's Reconciliation Action Plan.