UQ learns to share and grow from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories

The University of Queensland has invited the community to join staff and students to form the word ‘sorry’ as part of activities to celebrate National Reconciliation Week.

Pro-Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) Professor Bronwyn Fredericks said National Reconciliation Week was both a celebration and a serious undertaking to drive understanding and a shared knowledge of Australia’s story.

“National Reconciliation Week promotes and argues for reconciliation and the strengthening of relationships between Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians,” Professor Fredericks said.

“I can think of no better place to encourage growth in the area of reconciliation than in a university; especially here at The University of Queensland.”

Professor Fredericks said the theme of Don’t keep history a mystery. Learn. Share. Grow invited Australians to learn more about First Australian’s cultures and histories.

“Results from the latest Australian Reconciliation Barometer 2016, showed that almost one in three Australians do not accept that government policies enabled the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families without permission up to the 1970s. This year’s theme allows us to explore Australian history and learn about things people may not have known,” she said.

“For the University, as we prepare for the release of our own first Reconciliation Action Plan later this year, it is a chance to celebrate and commemorate our reconciliation journey with the whole of UQ and Community.

“There are boundless opportunities to learn from history in this one week alone and I encourage people to attend any or all of the events that UQ is hosting.”

UQ Reconciliation Week events include a book swap at the Grassy Knoll, as well as the people-driven live formation of the word Sorry on the Forgan Smith Lawn and a barbeque at sunset.

Details are here.

National Reconciliation Week, which runs from Sunday 27 May opens nationally with the commemoration of the 1967 Referendum.

This landmark achievement removed the words “…other than the aboriginal people in any state…” in section 51 (xxvi) along with the whole of section 127 allowing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be included in the census.