22 May 2017

Take the next steps to celebrate Reconciliation Week at RMIT

Find out what reconciliation means to indigenous students.

National Reconciliation Week is an annual celebration that will take place Saturday 27 May to Saturday 3 June.

Reconciliation Week celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. Three indigenous students share what this means to them.

RMIT student Sophie Heath is studying a Bachelor of Business (Economics and Finance) (Applied). “For me reconciliation means Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people coming together to celebrate our culture and recognising our past,” she says.

Theresa Joachim is studying an Associate degree in Business at RMIT, while also working in the university’s Ngarara Willim centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. “Reconciliation to me is restoring relationships, with knowledge of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, identity and histories,” she says. “By building relationships, connections and experiences with non-indigenous peoples we can come together to succeed at reconciliation in the future”.

Kimberly Lovegrove is studying a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations). “For me reconciliation is about inclusion and not exclusion,” she says. “At RMIT we have a good relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people.”

The theme for National Reconciliation Week this year is ‘take the next steps’. For Kimberly, this means more than just diverse cultures working together; it’s about education as well.

“There are people out there that want to learn about our culture but there is a lack of resources. I believe the next step we can take is developing a school curriculum where it’s compulsory to do a complete unit on Indigenous culture for VCE or your state equivalent. This is going in the right direction for reconciliation.”

To mark Reconciliation Week, RMIT is holding an event at Bundoora Campus to celebrate the opening of the new Ngarara Willim Centre for Indigenous students.

You are invited to attend the opening for a morning tea followed by an Indigenous-themed walk through campus. There will be speeches by Martin Bean CBE and Lionel Bamblett, General Manager of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated.

Date: Thursday 1 June
Time: 10am to 12pm
Location: Bundoora West Campus, Building 202, Level 3, Open Student Area.
Enquiries: ngarara.willim@rmit.edu.au