Today is National Sorry Day. National Sorry Day acknowledges and raises awareness of the history and continued effect of the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from their families, communities and culture.
A group of Our Lady of Mercy College students participated in the City of Bunbury (Goomburrup) Reconciliation Walk today.
The walk started at Koombana Bay’s Wardandi Boodja sculpture before making way along the footbridge and ending at the Graham Bricknell Memorial Music Shell.
There they watched dance and music performances, listened to story sharing, and student Tiaa participated in the flag-raising ceremony.
The walk kicks off National Reconciliation Week, which runs from 27 May to 3 June, with this year’s theme of ‘Be Brave. Make Change’ The theme encourages all people to take action and to practice reconciliation each week and to take action in their lives to make reconciliation real. Our students facilitated a small activity in which the community was asked to write down their interpretation of what it means to be brave.
Reconciliation Week is a time for all of us to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how we can contribute to achieving reconciliation.
The College established a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group in Term 1. In consultation with students, community and staff, the group finalised the Our Lady of Mercy College Vision for Reconciliation, which can be read below. The working group are now focusing on assigning Actions & Deliverables, in line with this year’s Reconciliation Week theme ‘Be Brave. Make Change’.
Vision for Reconciliation
Our Lady of Mercy College’s vision for reconciliation is for a just, equitable and unified nation, where First Nations children have the same opportunities and choices as non-Indigenous children.
Guided by the Mercy Educational Values of Respect, Compassion, Justice, Courage, Service and Hospitality, we aspire to:
Show respect for ourselves, for others and for Country
Be people of compassion
Value justice and to always strive for fairness in our world
Demonstrate courage, especially when we see others being treated unkindly or unfairly
Be of service to others by supporting and caring for those around us
Show hospitality, by fostering a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful community
We acknowledge that reconciliation is based on five interrelated dimensions – race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity; unity; and historical acceptance. Together, these dimensions represent a holistic and inclusive approach to achieving reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples.
In the context of our College, we commit to engaging with the wider community to establish positive two-way relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians. In order to promote equality and equity, we foster environments, where children can participate in a range of opportunities equally and the rights of all people are recognised and upheld. We acknowledge and embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, and rights as a proud part of our shared national identity. Through education and understanding, we provide a space for authentic truth-telling and historical acceptance to occur.