Message From the Principal
Be brave. Make change!
There is nothing more refreshing, or relieving as when a relationship that has been broken is able to be healed. If you’ve ever been in a disagreement with someone you love and trust, and you have been hurt, you will know the incredible power when they sorry, and not only that but seek to restore the relationship in such a way that such wrongs are avoided in the future. It requires the person in the wrong to be brave, to be humble and admit their fault, and to then seek to change their actions moving forward. This is reconciliation. Reconciliation – spiritual reconciliation – is at the heart of the Christian faith, as Jesus seek sought to reconcile humanity to God and bring life to all.
National Reconciliation Week, is a significant time for our nation as it is the opportunity to not only recognise the richness of our First Nation cultures, but to ensure past wrongs are acknowledged and to move towards a healing pathway, forged through the building of strong and respectful relationships. It always takes place from 7 May to 3 June, as these dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. It is 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. But it’s not only the big symbolic moments and actions that matter, but the real change begins with brave actions in daily life – where you live, work, play and socialise.
As a College we are seeking to work with our local First Nations groups to ensure we are an inclusive community that welcomes and honours their heritage and culture. We have some staff currently working on our College Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), in consultation with community representatives, and we are keen to include our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to help us with that. We want to acknowledge the rich culture and heritage in this area and to support all indigenous students. We now specifically offer an annual Indigenous scholarship to further this. We want that rich heritage to be more visible in our community, but also to be authentic in what we do. Our Senior and Junior Schools student leaders are planning some celebrations for NAIDOC week in early Term 3 to reinforce this – wait and see!
Incoming Prime Minister, Mr Antony Albanese, committed to the Uluru statement from the heart in his acceptance speech. My hope is that we see those words put into action through these next three years to bring about change in the futures of our indigenous community, whose health, life expectancy, education and incarceration rates are drastically out of step with the non-Aboriginal community. As the statement says “In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard… When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.”
As a College we commit to be brave and make change. We seek to walk with our First Nations people in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.