Wesley College Melbourne Australia
Wesley College Melbourne

Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School - national reconciliation

Posted 26 May 2016
Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School - National Reconciliation

In Australia, reconciliation is about respecting one another, our first people and our community.  The reconciliation movement began in Australia in 1967 with a referendum in which Australians voted to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution which discriminated against Indigenous Australians. I believe that today, reconciliation means so much more, as we have become a nation of many diverse cultures and languages.

During National Reconciliation Week all Yiramalay staff and students will be talking about how they can better learn from one another and accept and listen to each other, as individuals. This is one of the first challenges we must share and understand, so that reconciliation can begin. Accepting people for their culture and for who they are, no matter where they come from, is as important as having a sense of community. These are very important first steps.

Accessible education for all has also played a key role in reconciliation. It provides opportunities and pathways so that people can develop the confidence that will allow them to participate in society with equality, in a sometimes discriminatory world.

It is also important for all of us to play a part in respecting our Aboriginal heritage, new Australians and valuing justice and equality.  To be Australian it doesn’t matter where you come from, or the colour of your skin, or whether English is your first language, as it’s our diversity which makes us a culturally rich country.

The Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School is unique as it brings together two cultures, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, into one community with many cultures and helps each learn from the other. The partnership between Wesley College and the Bunuba people provides a sense of acceptance, belonging and community and this is what reconciliation is all about.

Being part of Wesley College should make us all proud and encourage each and every one of us to make reconciliation part of our own personal story.

Ned McCord, Executive Director, Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School

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