Jobs Events Advertise

Past, present and future: was, is and always will be

Rudi Maxwell -

Where to now for reconciliation in the wake of the unsuccessful referendum on a First Nations voice to parliament?

That's the question on the top of the list when educators from across the country gather at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra on Friday for a forum about the past, present and future of reconciliation in education.

The event will include leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educationalists discussing reconciliation in education, post referendum and as the new history curriculum rolls out.

Professors Tom Calma and Marcia Langton, who were appointed by the former Morrison Government to chair the Indigenous voice co-design process, will speak at the forum.

Reconciliation Australia board member and educator Sharon Davis said reconciliation in education had been a focus of the not-for-profit for a long time.

"But at the moment, I can't think of a more important time with the results of the recent voice referendum and what's happening to indigenous peoples all over the world," they said.

"Now is a better time than any to be able to talk about the importance of reconciliation, education and understanding one another."

Sharon said the need for greater knowledge, understanding and education about the truth of this country has been starkly highlighted.

"I think people, including teachers sometimes, do get a bit confused between what is Aboriginal education and what is reconciliation education," they said.

"Reconciliation and education is for everyone to learn about truth, telling the true story of of this country, to learn about what happened and still happens in terms of colonisation, the ongoing impacts of that, but also the amazing strengths of our mob.

"And the blackest excellence that's out there and the rigour that exists in Aboriginal cultures, through learning science, writing, art, language, all those different areas that have been often, historically, overlooked."

This forum is being hosted by Reconciliation Australia's Narragunnawali Reconciliation in Education and Ngarrngga, a Melbourne University project, that creates innovative curriculum resources and masterclass-style professional development for educators on First Nations knowledges.

Ngarrngga director Melitta Hogarth said the opportunity to learn shared histories is critically important.

"It allows for non-Indigenous people in Australia to understand this history and the reasons why there is a disconnect within Australian society," she said.

"The new curriculum, if implemented with proper resources and teacher training, will promote reconciliation and improved relationships between the very diverse cultural groups within Australian society."

Sharon believes previously there's been a focus on understanding Indigenous perspectives and less about race and battling racism.

"One of the most horrible things as a result of the referendum was that it opened a floodgate for racist rhetoric to just happen in everyday life and everyday situations," they said.

"People were emboldened to spew racist hate and I think, as a country, a lot of us found it very hard to know how to combat that.

"So I feel like going forward having a focus on anti-racism and how everyday Australians can, should and must combat racism will be something that that's really important."

In the evening, the Narragunnawali Awards will celebrate Australian schools and early learning services with a passion for reconciliation in education.

Rudi Maxwell - AAP


In a heartbeat: smart watches helping to close the gap
When Aunty Mary Waites joined a research trial aimed at helping to reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease in Abori...
Rudi Maxwell 23 Feb 2024
Groote Eylandt residents call for land council probe
Hundreds on a remote Northern Territory Island have called on the federal government to investigate "potential gross misconduct"...
Neve Brissenden 23 Feb 2024
Nominations open for the 2024 Queensland Reconciliation Awards
Businesses, community groups, schools, sporting clubs, and cultural organisations are invited to submit nominations for the 2024...
Joseph Guenzler 23 Feb 2024
Experts say MP's approach to NT youth crime is not evidence-based
Experts have criticised calls from Labor MP Marion Scrymgour for the NT to show “tough love” to juvenile offenders, arguing her...
Dechlan Brennan 23 Feb 2024

   Rudi Maxwell   

Partner sues prisons over Indigenous inmate's death
A woman is suing the NSW prison system and inmate healthcare service over the death in custody of her partner after a coroner fo...
Duncan Murray 15 Feb 2024
Uluru resort could hit the market as owners mull sale
The Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation is exploring options for the Ayers Rock Resort, the only place for tourists to stay when...
Rudi Maxwell 15 Feb 2024
Darlington set for National Indigenous Cricket Championships return
Australian international Hannah Darlington is set to return to the National Indigenous Cricket Championships after being selecte...
Callan Morse 15 Feb 2024
Tasmania to field youthful men’s squad at National Indigenous Cricket Championships
Tasmania has announced a youthful men’s squad for this year’s National Indigenous Cricket Championships, the tournament set to t...
Callan Morse 15 Feb 2024