Today CatholicCare staff were joined by Aunty Beverly, local women elders and representatives from Warrigal Employment to commemorate Australia's National Day of Healing and National Reconciliation Week.
This year during National Reconciliation Week (27 May - 3 June), all Australians are invited to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation.
Proceeding National Reconciliation Week, is National Sorry Day held annually on 26 May. In acknowledgement of this day, CatholicCare staff across all locations were encouraged to wear purple, to emulate the native Purple Hibiscus (desert rose) which is the National symbol of Sorry Day, as it is found Australia-wide and it is resilient and a survivor, like the Stolen Generations themselves. Purple flowers are also on display in our reception areas.
CatholicCare Director Michael Austin, pictured with staff from our Wollongong office.
The theme of this years Reconciliation Week is “Grounded in Truth: Walk Together with Courage”. At the heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To foster positive race relations, our relationship must be grounded in a foundation of truth.
In his address this afternoon CatholicCare's Director Michael Austin said, "Walking Together with the Community is an honour and a privilege for us at CatholicCare Wollongong, as we walk the pathway of healing and truth together in a respectful relationship."
"National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. At CatholicCare, one of the teachings from our tradition is this - the truth will set you free. From this we can understand that in the right relationship circumstances, truth telling can be a pathway to liberation and healing," Mr Austin continued.
Our delicious afternoon tea was catered by Fred's Bush Tucker, a local Aboriginal caterer who's vision is to encourage the acceptance of quality, authentic, Australian Indigenous bush foods and culture.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Aunty Bev, the women elders and Nyssa Murray from Warrigal Employement for their presence at our afternoon tea.