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Get involved in National Reconciliation Week

23 May 2016

We're hosting a range of events that are open to our community and the general public to mark National Reconciliation Week from 27 May to 3 June.

All hands on deck: (pictured, from left) Deputy Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) Professor Shane Houston, University of Sydney Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AM and staff member Tanika Perry at 2015 Reconciliation Week activities. 

We’ll be marking 25 years of Reconciliation in Australia by celebrating our nation’s history, story, and future with a week-long program of events across our campuses.

Our events include the Reconciliation Walk, a flag-raising ceremony, workshops, forums, and installations – and everyone’s welcome.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) Professor Shane Houston encouraged the whole University community to get involved.

“We’re pleased to continue our support of National Reconciliation Week,” Professor Houston said.

“This year marks 25 years of reconciliation in Australia - with the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation having been established in 1991.

“We have a wide range of events and activities planned for students and the community, and I encourage everyone to participate.”

On Thursday 26 May, Sorry Day, welcome events will be held at the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) in Rozelle, including Welcome and Smoking ceremonies, a bush tucker-themed BBQ and an exhibition by third-year Indigenous student Dean Cross.

Hands of Reconciliation: Limited edition brooches and keyrings will be on sale at SCA and the Quad on 26 May.

Limited edition handmade brooches and keyrings will also be available for $5 each at SCA and at the Quad during National Reconciliation Week. All proceeds will go to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support group ANTaR. Further queries or bulk orders can be made to Janelle Evans or Mariko Smith.

On Friday 27 May, University staff, students and local community members (everyone’s welcome!) will participate in the Reconciliation Walk from Redfern Community Centre to the Quad. It will be followed by a community BBQ on the front lawns and an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag-raising ceremony. The event will also feature keynote speakers, a musical performance by Jessie Lloyd and the unveiling of the Hands of Reconciliation installation.

The Hands of Reconciliation will be located on the Front Lawns of our Camperdown campus, and will be there all week from 10am-4pm daily. The popular installation is Australia’s largest interactive public artwork and allows our community and the general public to add a personal message of reconciliation to a hand, plant it in the lawn (make sure you stay around to see it glow in the dark).

The final public event of the week will be the interactive forum “I’m not racist, but…” held at the Giant Dwarf Theatre in Redfern on Thursday 2 June. Presented by the NSW Reconciliation Council in association with Sydney Ideas, expect a light-hearted forum discussing contemporary racism in Australia through personal reflections and perspectives. This event is always popular so make sure you book early or you’ll miss out.

Next week, we're also expecting up to 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to take part in Experience Uni program run by Compass. Students will participate in hands-on activities with faculties from across the University, including getting involved with the Hands of Reconciliation installation, and being terated to a performance by the Wandabaa Gabinya dancers. 

Find out more about all of our Reconciliation Week events, or to enquire about our limited edition handmade brooches and keyrings email or