In partnership with Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-Operative and representatives of the region’s Aboriginal communities, the City along with Barwon Water, Geelong Gallery, the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre, Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Department of Justice and Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group, will celebrate National Reconciliation Week from 25 May – 3 June.
This year’s theme, don’t keep history a mystery, encourages all Australians to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation.
Celebrations begin with a launch on Friday 25 May 2018 at 5.30pm in the Barwon Water Offices forecourt. The launch, open to everyone to attend, will be followed by projections from Barwon Water onto the State Government Offices. The event culminates with digital projections on City Hall. These dynamic and engaging animated show reels have been created by local artist Matt Bonner to shine a light on the strengths of our local Aboriginal communities.
The projections will run at both locations each night until 11pm, concluding 3 June.
There are many other activities in Geelong during Reconciliation Week. Barwon Water will host an exhibition of original artworks by Aboriginal men detained in prison. The Geelong Gallery plays host to exhibitions responding to reconciliation, including works by hundreds of local children in We see recognition—a children’s art exhibition. The Geelong Library & Heritage Centre will have a special Reconciliation Week display including Dan Dan Nook’s Best Runner Geelong 1860 medal. The Geelong Performing Arts Centre will host a photographic display, Connecting Kids with Culture and Creativity, and crafting nature workshops with Kylie Clarke, suitable for children aged 5 to 10, on 29 May and 1 June.
Reconciliation in the Park, a local Aboriginal community-led event in partnership with Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group, will be held in Johnstone Park for the ninth consecutive year, on Sunday 27 May from 10am to 3pm. The event engages the broad community and creates a space for learning, growing relationships and creating commitment to reconciliation. Performers at the event include local dance groups, choir and didgeridoo players, plus Indigenous Hip Hop Projects & Alice Skye performances.
The Mayor, Cr Bruce Harwood says:
“With so many options to celebrate Reconciliation Week, the whole community will have the chance to engage with this year’s theme, don’t keep history a mystery.”
“I strongly encourage everyone to pause and participate in this important week. We should all acknowledge our history and be part of activities about reconciliation and celebrate the immense contributions of our first nations people.”
Barwon Water Managing Director, Tracey Slatter says:
“Barwon Water is proud to host a pop-up art exhibition of original artworks by Aboriginal men detained in prison, and we encourage the entire community to attend. The sale of these artworks will go towards the prisoners’ rehabilitation through the Torch Project.”
CEO of Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative, Rodney Jackson says:
“The Aboriginal Reconciliation digital projections are an exciting project that will showcase the talent of Aboriginal artists in the Geelong region. It is sensational to see all of the events happening across Reconciliation Week in Geelong this year and moving forward.”