2022 marks twenty-one years of Reconciliation in Australia, and almost three decades of Australia’s formal reconciliation process. We acknowledge that we all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation. Together we can collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures, and futures.
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Digital Sorry Tree Messages
Photos are from a range of UNE events including; a Smoking Ceremony and traditional dance for Welcome Ceremony at Booloominbah from 2021.
We wish to extend our apology to all First Nations people who have been wronged by the atrocities of our ancestors. For them and from us we are truly SORRY.
As we move forward, we as Australians must have reconciliation in our hearts, minds, and actions, in order to build a nation that is strengthened by respectful relationships between the mainstream Australian People and First Nations people.
We wish to acknowledge that we are on the traditional lands of the Kamilaroi/Gamilaroi/Gomeroi people. We recognise their continued connection to this land and we pay our respects to elders past, present, and emerging. We extend that respect to all First Nations people.
Listen to the history and the stories; learn from the experience; be uncomfortable; acknowledge the past, participate in the present, welcome the future; be humbled by the bravery and spirit; embrace our oldest culture; celebrate and recognise; be a force for change; be authentic and generous; as reconciliation rests on all our shoulders… Always was; always is; always will be.
Always was, Always will be, Aboriginal land
Australians and residents of this land are lucky to have one of the richest and oldest continuing cultures in the world.
Education about the topic remains crucial and understanding the ramifications of colonisation should not be ignored. I join everyone praying for inclusivity and peace and I encourage myself and everyone to take actions that will help heal the nation, celebrate the Aboriginal culture and build better future for the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people.
Reconciliation is more than a nationwide journey. Reconciliation is a personal journey too. We are responsible for learning the true history of Australia, and understanding the privileges we carry. Today, and every day, I recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the custodians of the land I walk and learn upon. May our actions towards the fight against inequality reflect the voices of our First Nation People; and may their culture, history, and stories forever be entrenched within the education of future generations. #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe
I’m truly sorry for the inhumane treatment of First Nations people by those who colonised Australia over 200 years ago, and I acknowledge this damage still echoes in the lives of present generations – and continues in other, often more subtle forms, to this day. Reconciliation can only happen through acknowledging the brutal truths of the past, shining a light on the injustices of now, and moving forward together with understanding and respect. #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe
I look forward to the day where we can celebrate the implementation of the Uluṟu Statement of the Heart. Always was, always will be.
Always was, Always will be
I am happy to see first nations people being recognised as the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we meet, work and play on. I also love the fact that as a nation, we are working collectively and individually to incorporate First Nations’ perspectives into our national identity. We have a way to go, but I feel that the Australian nation is healing slowly as we join together.
2022 marks twenty-one years of Reconciliation Australia and almost three decades of Australia’s formal reconciliation process.
I have been privileged and humbled to work with First Nations artists, artworkers, and artwork. I have learnt so much from these experiences and have been constantly inspired to learn more, connect with true history no matter how painful and uncomfortable, and to try and be one small part of a process that is much bigger than myself – to contribute to reconciliation in this country and to work towards a more just an equitable Australia. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.
For me, I believe that the path to reconciliation is paved with an idea: that we all share each other’s story. When I reflect on my own identity as an Australian today, part of it stems back over 60,000 years, sharing the story of the world’s oldest continuing culture; part of it came by boat some 250 years ago and had battled its own wars before that in what is now the United Kingdom, and part of it is reflected in the faces of our communities – of those who have arrived since.
Understanding and appreciating that the ongoing impacts of colonisation and the Frontier Wars are our shared history is crucial in the process of reconciliation. These things happened and they happened in our very recent past. They are still very much felt, both institutionally, and through identity. For the times when I fail to reflect on this, I am sorry.
Let’s use our appreciation for a shared story to give confidence to truth-telling, and increase our capacity to move forward together.
Always was, always will be.
I’d like to acknowledge the huge significance of Reconciliation Week for all Australians. It reminds us to take the time to reflect, have a conversation, as well as to celebrate the amazing history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We still have some work to do to create a more educated, tolerant, and equitable society for all Australians, and we all have a part to play.
I hope that Australia, and us as individuals, never forget the devastating practices of forced First Nation child removals and the racism that surrounded the policies underlying it. We should also be mindful of the current ongoing effects and continuing practice of removing First Nations children from their unique culture. For those who have suffered, and are suffering from these policies and practices I say Sorry!
National Sorry Day – A day of healing. A day of recognising a true history, respecting culture, acknowledging a generation of stolen children and paving a future for reconciliation. WE are truly SORRY. We would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional land of the Biripi people – Biripi Country – Shark Country. We pay respects to the elders, past, present and future.
#SORRY #BeBraveMakeChange #NRW2022
Australia has an incredible 65,000-year heritage – I would love to see this celebrated and shared in more everyday settings.
It’s up to all of us to step up, ask questions and enable one another to learn and support, to overcome the “the gap”. I appreciate and acknowledge our first nations people #NRW2022 #BeBraveMakeChange
As a Social Work Student, it is my duty to walk alongside First Nations people in healing, to advocate for policy led and informed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, to listen to their stories, and to work towards closing the gap. I acknowledge that true reconciliation comes with acknowledging the cruel injustices in our treatment of First Nations people, both historical and ongoing. Aboriginal People in rural and remote areas have some of the poorest health outcomes in the developed world, only 66% will finish year 12 and although Aboriginal People make up only 2% of the population, they represent 27% of the national prison population. We must do more to reconcile the treatment of Aboriginal People.
While systemic change is slow-moving, I also recognize the part I can play in creating small changes. Things like supporting Aboriginal creatives, educating myself so that I can be a strong ally, ensuring that the spaces I exist in, are spaces that my Aboriginal friends, peers, and colleagues feel safe in, and respecting our natural environment which is home to many special places for First Nations people.
This land was, and always will be indigenous.
I am proud that this country has made an official day to ask for forgiveness from people and our ancestors.
I appreciate and acknowledge our first nations people and apologize to those who have been mistreated in our country in the past.
The University of New England respects and acknowledges that its people, programs and facilities are built on land, and surrounded by a sense of belonging, both ancient and contemporary, of the world’s oldest living culture. In doing so, UNE values and respects Indigenous knowledge systems as a vital part of the knowledge capital of Australia.