This year, 27 May to 3 June marks National Reconciliation Week. National Reconciliation Week marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum—in which more than 90% of Australians (or should we say, people who were considered Australian according to the law at that time) were in favour of giving the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise them in the national census— and also commemorates the High Court Mabo decision which was made on 3 June 1992.
It’s a week for Australians, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to learn about the history and culture of Australia and to think about ways that we as individuals can contribute to reconciliation. Get involved and learn something new about the First Nations people with these events happening in Brisbane this week.
Birrunga Gallery Panel Discussions
On Saturday 29 May, Birrunga Gallery and Dining will be hosting a three-course dinner with a panel discussion and Q&A. The panel features principal artist and founder, Birrunga Wiradyuri, Jagera Daran owner and Director of Nyanda Life, Madonna Thomson, IndigenousX head of audio and podcast development, Rhianna Patrick and more. They’ll be sharing insight on cultural responsibilities, storytelling, dialogue around reconciliation as a valid mechanism and many more engaging topics. If you can’t make it, the gallery is also hosting another panel discussion and two-course lunch on Friday 4 June. At this second event, you’ll see Birrunga Wiradyuri and Madonna Thomson return to the stage with new guests including Sobah Beverages owner and founder, Dr. Clinton Shultz.
Culture of Peace Concert
In the Culture of Peace Concert by the 300 Voices of Birralee, these talented singers will be exploring a diverse range of cultural themes and stories through song. The ensemble will be acknowledging the United Nations’ International Year of Peace and Trust theme for this year. Do yourself a favour and immerse yourself in the storytelling and culture of this event at the Amphitheatre in Roma Street Parklands. Seating is allocated so be sure to grab a ticket for what’s sure to be a beautiful afternoon.When: 2pm, Sunday 30 May Where: Roma Street Parkland Amphitheatre Find out more here.
Test Your Knowledge At Murri Trivia
St Lucy’s Café at the University of Queensland are hosting a night of learning and competitiveness with their Murri Trivia. Hosted by Professor Anita Heiss, celebrated award-winning and multi-talented author, you’re invited to learn about and test your knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander facts. There’ll be prizes for the winning team, so you may want to do some serious research beforehand.When: 5.30pm–8pm, Thursday 3 June Where: St Lucy’s, UQ St Lucia Campus Find out more here.
Catch An Indigenous Movie
If you want to educate yourself through film and get a little cultured, Brisbane City Council have organised a series of free movie showings across Brisbane, each of which aims to engage Australians in a national conversation about Australian history and what has been missing from our history books. The Reconciliation Week film club includes a showing of Occupation: Native, a film that “bites back” at the “one-sided” Australian historical narrative, and Servant or Slave, which provides an insight into the history of domestic servitude enforced upon Aboriginal girls in Australia, both of which are showing at Brisbane Square Library.
You can also get yourselves acquainted with some Indigenous drag—something we don’t see in the media. The film Black Divaz, which follows the contestants of the inaugural Miss First Nations Pageant, will be shown at West End Library. Another documentary, In My Own Words, will be shown at Toowong Library and spotlights the transformative journey of adult Aboriginal students and their teachers as they discover the power of reading and writing for the first time. Take your pick or watch all four, these thought-provoking films will provide a truly meaningful insight into the lived experiences of Indigenous Australians.
A Concert From The QLD Conservatorium
Join students from the Queensland Conservatorium as they mark this momentous week with a concert. In tandem with this year’s theme of braver and more impactful action, the Queensland Conservatorium hope to inspire change through music and art. Not to mention, the event is free, so immerse yourselves in this concert that’ll be sure to leave you in awe.When: 1pm, Tuesday 1 June Where: Queensland Conservatorium, South Bank Find out more here.
1880s King Jackey Corroboree Re-enactment
In this 1880s King Jackey corroboree re-enactment, you’ll get an in-depth look into the local history of the Yerongpan tribal headman and his living descendants of today. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the re-enactment, and even dress up in period outfits for the occasion.When: 2pm–3.15pm, Saturday 5 June Where: Mott Park, Holland Park Find out more here.
First Nations Storytelling Sessions
Over three fascinating sessions, Moreton Bay Galleries & Museums are hosting three Indigenous Australians who will lead storytelling gatherings about the countries of the Jinibara, Kabi Kabi and Turrbal people. On Saturday 15 May, learn about the Kinibara people’s rich history and take part in a printmaking workshop led by artist and traditional custodian of Jinibara Country, Jason Murphy. The following week immerse yourselves in the Kabi Kabi storytelling session with Nathan Morgan of the Gubbi Gubbi Dancers. To finish off the three weeks of festivities, song-woman, law-woman and elder of the Turrbal people, Maroochy Barambah, will host the final Saturday story-telling session about Turrbal people. After each session, you can also stay back a little for a guided tour of the current exhibition at the gallery, IDEN-DEFY. Tickets are free, so introduce yourselves to a deeper insight into Moreton Bay’s historical cultural experiences and practices.
You can read up on what Reconciliation Week is all about here.
Image credit: Brisbane City Council