This week, we observe National Reconciliation Week, a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
We also observe National Sorry Day on Wednesday 26 May, which remembers the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities.
This is a day to acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generations Survivors and reflect on how we can all play a part in the healing process for our people and nation. At Georges River Council, we pay our respects to the Biddegal people of the Eora Nation, who are the original inhabitants and custodians of the land and water in the Georges River region.
Council's vision for reconciliation is a community where Aboriginal people are recognised as the First Nation of people in Australia, and their culture is valued, celebrated and supported. We promote equity of access for all members of the Aboriginal community to culturally sensitive services, and we seek to identify meaningful opportunities for the advancement of First Nations people in our local area.
The theme for Reconciliation Week in 2021 is "More than a word. Reconciliation takes action" and Council is beginning action with the youngest in our community.
Our Children's Services Team has developed a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with the help of Aboriginal families and educators, who have consulted with Council's Aboriginal Reference Group.
Guided by our RAP, we have implemented programs and workshops in our childcare centres, teaching appreciation of country and respect for Indigenous people and culture.
By educating children in their formative years, we hope that they take these lessons home to share with their families, so that together, they can enrich their understanding of the history, languages and experiences of First Nations people, who continue to be an integral part of our Georges River community.
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