Be Brave. Make Change. is the theme of Reconciliation Week 2022, but what does that mean exactly?
It refers to the fact that we can all make a positive impact during our day-to-day lives as our nation works toward a more just and equal society. And it starts with building relationships and communities that value our First Australians, their history, culture and opportunities.
We can do this by making mindful decisions to act for positive change, by rallying behind, and giving voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, causes, business and communities. And we can do it in our workplaces, sporting associations, social groups and schools, where respect for cultural identity and inclusion are not always a given.
How we can Be Brave and Make Change every day
We’ve drawn up a few thoughtful suggestions that can be applied during Reconciliation Week and beyond.
Get active on social media
A social media platform is something that most of us have access to – and what better place to share your values and beliefs than right there. After all, reconciliation is everyone’s business.
During Reconciliation Week, from May 27 to June 3, you may want to consider sharing some of the wonderful stories, businesses, performances, events and resources that resonate with you, using the Reconciliation Week hashtags #BeBraveMakeChange and #NRW2022.
But don’t stop there, you can give power to some of the incredible First Nations change-makers – by watching, reading, listening, engaging with, and sharing their content – long after Reconciliation Week is over.
Support local First Nations businesses
There’s a wealth of Noongar businesses in the metropolitan area – as well as those of other peoples further north and interstate – doing exciting things in hospitality, beauty & wellness, literature, tourism, fashion, homewares, the arts and corporate services.
Why not shop with purpose and empower these entrepreneurs today?
You can even decide to wear your heart on your sleeve by purchasing an Indigenous-designed T-shirt with a reconciliation statement, a colourful tie or some statement jewellery.
Hold a bushfoods dinner party or potluck
The beautiful thing about exploring a culture’s food is that it throws open the doors to respectful conversation and storytelling in a safe, hospitable, celebratory and delicious way.
Whether you host an easygoing First Australians-influenced potluck or barbecue, a themed event, or a fine-dining degustation, you can be guaranteed that you’ll set the stage for learning, appreciation and discussion about the need for reconciliation.
The added bonus in holding a potluck – and asking your guests to create dishes as authentic to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tradition as possible – is that your guests get to enjoy learning about new flavour combinations, ingredients and recipes while creating delicacies with their own hands. How cool is that?
Form a reading group with friends
Why not form a reading group that focuses entirely on the works of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors?
Our homegrown wordsmiths have been busy winning hearts and minds across the globe in recent decades while sharing their stories, Dreamings and history in fiction and non-fiction books, many of which have won prestigious awards.
Your reading group can select a book of the month, get reading and then regroup over a coffee or meal to discuss what you have read, felt and learnt.
With so many incredible authors to choose from, you’ll never be left searching for a great read again.
Read the Uluru Statement From The Heart
This important document is a must-read for all Australians, because it maps out the path forward to recognising Indigenous Australians in this nation’s constitution.
It is an invitation from our First Nations brothers and sisters to “walk together to build a better future by establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution, and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission for the purpose of treaty making and truth-telling”.
You can explore the statement, and the history behind it, here: https://ulurustatement.org/the-statement/
Write to your local Federal MP
Send an email or letter to your local federal representative seeking their public support for the Uluru Statement From The Heart and their commitment to holding a referendum on a First Nations Voice to Parliament protected by the Constitution.
Donate to a Not-For-Profit such as ours!
There are some incredibly committed not-for-profit organisations – including South Coastal Babingurr Mia – that are working tirelessly to create equity of opportunity for our First Australians.
For those that accept donations, you can hold a fundraising drive at your workplace, sporting association or social club.
Here at South Coastal Babbingur Mia – where we are dedicated to closing the gap with culturally-safe Aboriginal health services and programs – your donations go a long way.
We gratefully receive all donations via this link: https://www.southcoastal.org.au/getinvolved/donations/