At the core of reconciliation is the sound relationship between the broader Australian community and our First Australians - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
To achieve reconciliation we have to respect, reflect and acknowledge the unique contribution made by our First Australians and to have clear, open and sometimes courageous conversations about our real shared history since colonisation.
National Reconciliation Week runs between 27 May and 3 June every year. Reconciliation Australia invites all Australians to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation.
The day was significant, the conversation very meaningful and the audience highly engaged. People were asked to tell their story of opportunity and Australia – they could paint their story or contribute to the bigger story that the whole painting tells - one of people coming together from many walks of life and the future –the yellow circles emanating from the centre are still blank. We are to paint them together, as inspired Australians, once our future has been forged in unity, sharing and collaboration.
This work celebrates all conversations and revelations of the group’s individual and collective efforts on 26 January 2017. Many hands engaged to bring out the experiences, richness and texture of this piece. Set upon the backdrop of the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River) the painting imagery radiates the walk into the future with a view to reconciling with our First Peoples by with all voices heard and equity across all social and economic life.
This painting reflects the belief of a cultural landscape and the connection between the human and spiritual realms. Everything in our vast landscape has meaning and purpose. Life is a web of inter-relationships where men and women and nature are partners, and where the past is always connected to present. We all walk the way into the future with a view to Reconcile with our acknowledging the past and moving into the future.
The small colourful circles respectfully acknowledge the passage of the First Peoples and their long 60,000-year history. The circles lead to a central joining which symbolises a reconciled and hopeful future indicators for all West Australians, importantly those who have cared for and contributed to this Country for thousands of generations before colonisation. The symbolism speaks of respectful relationships, working together and our journey ahead.