National Reconciliation Week – from 27 May to 3 June 2020 – is looking a bit different this year but there are still opportunities to connect digitally and immerse yourself in local cultural experiences as pandemic restrictions ease.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the 2020 National Reconciliation Week theme – In this together – was especially poignant during these unprecedented times of social isolation.
“We have seen some wonderful acts of altruism and kindness during the current COVID-19 pandemic right across the Redlands Coast community,” Cr Williams said.
“There has been a real sense of looking out for each other – that we truly are all in this together.
“I hope this realisation stays with us as the pandemic passes and we continue to acknowledge and celebrate our shared journeys.”
Cr Williams said the first day of National Reconciliation Week was the perfect time to acknowledge the Quandamooka People, the traditional custodians of the lands and seas of Redlands Coast.
“Wherever you are, choose your social media platform – or the privacy of your own space – to pay your respects,” she said.
“The Nughie, Noonuccal and Gorenpul peoples, collectively known as the Quandamooka People, have lived in careful balance with our region’s natural wonders for more than 21,000 years.
“If you know where to look, the evidence of this ageless connection surrounds you.”
Cr Williams said that in recent years Council had undertaken a number of joint projects with community organisations to promote reconciliation.
“Redland City Council’s first internal Reconciliation Action Plan, Kanara Malara – One People 2019 – 2021, was endorsed at a Council General Meeting on 31 July 2019,” she said.
“However, reconciliation is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations and a nation.
“We all have a role to play in healing the relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
Cr Williams urged Redlands Coast residents to connect with and enjoy local cultural opportunities during National Reconciliation Week.
“Redland Art Gallery (RAG) has created an online program of events for the week,” she said.
“Each day from Wednesday 27 May to Tuesday 2 June on Facebook and Instagram, you can enjoy a new offering, including featured artworks from the RAG collection, films Seeing Country and Gathering Strands, and artist interviews.
“Why not take a trip to North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) to see two stunning examples for Quandamooka culture in the form of public art place markers at Cabarita Park, Amity Point (Pulan) and Point Lookout (Mulumba).
“The Amity (Pulan) sculpture, designed by Quandamooka artist Belinda Close, depicts the sea eagle Mirriginpah soaring high above the waters of Moreton Bay in search of food, alerting the Quandamooka People to the annual arrival of mullet – a story that is millennia-old.
“Delvene Cockatoo-Collins designed the Point Lookout (Mulumba) sculpture, which captured perfectly the timeless links of the eugarie shell to the Quandamooka people.”
Funded by the Queensland Government, the artwork projects were led by Council in collaboration with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) and the artists.
Cr Williams said there was a range of Aboriginal cultural activities available on Redlands Coast including guided land-based whale and cultural walks, art galleries and food experiences.
“Camping on Main and Flinders beaches is expected to reopen in line with Stage 2 of the State Government’s easing of restrictions,” she said.
There are many national events offered across National Reconciliation Week, starting with a National Acknowledgement of Country from 12pm, Wednesday 27 May.
To join the National Acknowledgement of Country and get involved with other National Reconciliation Week events, visit nrw.reconciliation.org.au
For local cultural activities and experiences, contact Redlands Coast Visitor Information Centre on 1300 667 386 or visitredlandscoast.com.au