Reconciliation WA says it is focusing on action through this year’s National Reconciliation Week 2021 theme — “More than a word. Reconciliation takes action”.

“At its heart we want people to think about moving in their Reconciliation journey from safe to brave, through considering their actions,” Reconciliation WA chief executive Jody Nunn told the National Indigenous Times.

“Reconciliation doesn’t start and stop in the week we hold Reconciliation Week, it’s an ongoing journey that requires discipline and accountability.”

First launched in 1996 by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, National Reconciliation Week runs from May 27 to June 3 each year.

It commemorates two important dates in Indigenous history: May 27, the anniversary of the 1967 referendum which saw Indigenous people officially recognised as part of the Australian population, and June 3, Mabo Day, the historic 1992 ruling which saw the notion of terra nullius overturned in court and which resulted in the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

To open Reconciliation Week this year, Reconciliation WA is inviting people to do a digital Acknowledgement of Country.

“They can use a tile we’ve created (for social media), their own tile, or do a video,” Ms Nunn said.

“They can learn about the Country they’re on … We’re also working with leaders and captains of industry on this.”

The following morning will be the organisation’s premier event, the Reconciliation Week Breakfast — Reconciliation WA expects more than 990 guests.

“Our keynote speaker this year is June Oscar AO … we’re going to do that as a pre-recording from Broome,” Ms Nunn said.

“Then there’s going to be a panel to respond.”

For Ms Nunn, this year’s theme is about moving towards “equality for all Western Australians”.

“I felt this year the call for action is really powerful, and we’re only going to progress if we do what we say we’re going to do,” she said.

“We’ve got to keep that momentum moving so the next generation have a positive experience.”

Other events include the Reconciliation in Action forum which will feature the Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together Elders, Dr Noel Nannup OAM, Dr Richard Walley OAM and Emeritus Professor Colleen Hayward AM, as well as Reconciliation WA co-chair Carol Innes.

“They’re going to be talking about Aboriginal-led projects that focus on shifting and changing systems,” Ms Nunn said.

The Reconciliation Business in Action Forum (formerly the Yokai forum), will be led by the Wirra Hub and the Noongar Chamber of Commerce and Industry to share best practice across the business sector.

A “fundamental pillar” to Reconciliation Action Plans according to Ms Nunn, the business forum will look at several successful case studies in the issue of Aboriginal procurement.

The Walk for Reconciliation on Mabo Day will finish the week.

By Hannah Cross