The 27th of May marks a special day of significance to all Australians and all people who believe in respect for others, justice for all and equity. Our College has 3 values of Care, Curiosity and Collaboration that hopefully are shared and acknowledged by all. Tomorrow marks the beginning of National Reconciliation Week, which runs from the 27th May to the 3rd June.
Through a partnership and friendship with Noongar elder, Dr Noel Nannup, I learnt a phrase: Fair, Just and Even. Shenton College has always been a proudly inclusive school with a proudly inclusive community. As a school, and as a community, we have a responsibility to live out our values and ensure that our curriculum, our history, our perspectives and our philosophy are influenced by, and inclusive of, our First Nation people.
Our Fair, Just and Even approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders should not be limited to only one day, or even one week. It should be a continuous commitment to learning about our shared histories, our joined cultures, and our collective achievements.
This year recognises the twentieth anniversary of the Reconciliation Walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge, a landmark moment when more than 250,000 people came together to seek reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. Whilst this was a significant event, people coming together across the nation to show support for a more reconciled Australia, should not be limited to a single event or a walk across a bridge. If America has its Declaration of Independence, maybe we could have a Declaration of Interdependence. This year’s theme, In This Together, gives us an opportunity as a school and as a community to recognise and care for each other, be curious about each other’s cultures and languages, and to work collaboratively together for a better future for ourselves and for our children.