The theme for National Reconciliation Week is ‘Let’s Take The Next Steps’.
Image: Photo: Nick Clayton
As a social purpose organisation, Life Without Barriers (LWB) takes this time to reflect and reinforce their commitment to reconciliation through their Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan.
“At Life Without Barriers we encourage positive cultural changes, but there is always the reminder that we must continue to be courageous and tenacious as an organisation in our ‘Reconciliation Journey’. Reconciliation Week is an opportunity to become culturally aware, to have an understanding of each other’s cultural differences and the differing situations in which cultures exists,” says Les Ahoy, NSW/ACT State Lead Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Initiatives.
This year is particularly significant as it marks the 25th Anniversary of the Mabo Decision (3 June) and the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum (27 May). As part of National Reconciliation Week, LWB are participating in many community events as well as running a number of our own across the country.
Life Without Barriers staff will have opportunities to demonstrate and strengthen their ongoing commitment to Reconciliation through local activities celebrating National Sorry Day (26 May), National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June), Coming of the Light (1 July) and National NAIDOC Week (2 – 9 July).
“At Life Without Barriers we believe that reconciliation must live in the hearts and minds of all Australians."
"I encourage staff attending local events, to take a moment to pause, reflect, open their heart and think about how they can incorporate the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (clients, carers, community and staff) in all Life Without Barriers Business,” says Claire Robbs, Chief Executive.
Leading up to National Reconciliation Week the students from Challa Gardens Primary School in Adelaide were recently treated to a day of music, dance and culture thanks to a visit from Indigenous HIP HOP Projects. The group of seven energetic and athletic members held workshops with students combining hip hop and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Indigenous Hip Hop Projects is a team of artists who encourage self-expression through movement, music and art. They visited Challa Gardens Primary School as part of Life Without Barriers arts-based learning program Creating Brighter Futures (or nyuntumpa nintiringanyi meaning ‘for you to learn about’).
During Reconciliation Week, South Australian Life Without Barriers staff and clients will also take part in Reconciliation in the West as a celebration of Aboriginal culture and identity at the Tauondi Aboriginal College. Community members will enjoy live performances and entertainment, a range of stalls, free BBQ lunch and interactive activities for all ages.
Life Without Barriers also take this opportunity to congratulate and celebrate our recent Scholarship recipient - Oceania Henry. Oceania is using her scholarship to study Medicine at Deakin University (Waurn Ponds campus). She identifies as a proud Aboriginal woman from the Gunditjmara region and says that her inspiration to do medicine comes from her sister who is a midwife, “I feel like I have inherited her love of babies - so potentially something in women's health, like obstetrics or gynaecology when I have finished my study is where I see myself going. This is an area I am passionate about and see a lot of value in.”
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Reconciliation must live in the hearts and minds of all Australians.