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InsightReconciliation Week 2021

Reconciliation Week 2021

Reconciliation Australia’s theme for 2021, “More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.”, urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action.
We hosted a webinar between TSA’s Anthony Felice, and two industry leaders to discussed the importance of reconciliation and meaningful action.

Elle Davidson of Zion Engagement and Planning. A Balanggarra woman from the East Kimberley and descendant of Captain William Bligh, Elle Davidson describes herself as being caught in the cross-winds of Australia’s history. With a passion to empower the voices of First People, Elle combines her Town Planning and Indigenous Engagement qualifications to navigate between two worlds.

John Janke of Rork Projects, Born in Cairns, John is Wuthathi from Cape York Peninsula and Meriam from Murray (Mer) Island in the Torres Strait.
For almost three decades, he worked in the Public Sector in media roles within national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agencies – developing, and implementing a diverse range of communication and media strategies as well as coordinating and managing significant national Indigenous events. He was also the Director of Media and Marketing for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council.

One of the topics we discussed was that the built environment has so much colonial history intwined with it, and our industry can do a lot more to move towards reconciliation. We also talked about how to be respectful in the planning and design of new places.

Among many actions the group recommended, the main take away was to make a personal commitment to reconciliation. It could be to make a conscious effort to unlearn and relearn and be mindful about our assumptions.
Have the conversation and look at what you consume on social media. Follow some Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander channels. Read a book. Several good ideas were given, including

  • Growing up Aboriginal in Australia by Anita Heiss
  • Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
  • Hidden in Plain view by Paul Irish
  • People of the river by Grace Karskens
  • Greatest Estate on Earth by Bill Gammage

Have conversations with your family and kids. Recognise that sometimes we’ll get things wrong, and that is okay as long as we acknowledge and move forward.