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National Reconciliation Week

Staff |  18 May 2016

From 27 May to 3 June, Australians across the country will celebrate National Reconciliation Week 2016: 'Our History, Our Story, Our Future.' Australian Catholics magazine has put together the following collection of reflections, articles and classroom resources to help educators mark National Reconciliation Week in their schools.  


Unguarded moments: Hearing the truth of Indigenous stories

The Australian Indigenous story has many chapters, some coloured with discovery and some blacked out with dispossession, some heartwarming and some heartbreaking, some hidden and some heralded.

The Creator Spirit and me

My name is Evelyn Parkin. I was born and raised on North Stradbroke Island. I am writing about my relationship with the Creator Spirit of Aboriginal Spirituality who I believe is also the same God who speaks to me through my Christian faith. I will try to explain these two spiritual beliefs.

Experiencing the sacred as an Indigenous man

My name is Peter Smith, and I'm from the Aboriginal and Islander Catholic Council in Mt Isa, Queensland. Every month people from the council 'go bush' for a prayer session, held in a dry creek bed a short drive from Mount Isa. Here, I share my story of how the beliefs of my ancestors inform my Catholic faith.

Indigenous Australian stories

Experiencing the sacred as an Indigenous man.

Living traditions

Betty Pike has chosen to share the wisdom she's gained in her life in a unique way.


What it means to love the land

Archie Roach's latest project, Butcher's Paper, Texta, Blackboard and Chalk, shares the stories of children in Aboriginal communities, where the land is not just home - it's a place to play.

The greatest reward

Indigenous footballer Daniel Wells has had a successful AFL career, but says the satisfaction he gets from football cannot compare to the deeper fulfillment he gets from his family and his faith.

From boys to men

A successful scholarship program for Indigenous students is about providing more than just a quality education. At St Ignatius' College, Riverview in Sydney, the boys are given an insight into what it means to be Indigenous men, so they can be the next generation of leaders and role models in their communities.

A cabbage patch for kids

A school in Western Australia is changing the way kids think about food. There, teachers and parents aren’t wagging their fingers, reminding kids to eat their fruits and veggies. They don’t have to. The students at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary, Kununurra have learned how to make their own nutritious meals using fruits and veggies grown in their own schoolyard.  

Sorry Day

PrayerBlog: Moving on from 'sorry time'

Some years ago when I was visiting a remote Aboriginal community, I was asked if I might put some time aside to spend with a group of women. They wanted some Bible study, so, being the time after Easter, we looked at the stories that described the experience of the disciples after the Resurrection.

Remembering with pride

On the Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations on 13 February, schools across Australia will remember the stories of Indigenous Australians.


Indigenous missions

There are many ways of seeing missions. Catholics describe the heroism of men and women who leave their own lands to bring the gift of faith to people who have never heard of Christ. They celebrate the happiness that Christ has brought to new Christians and the generosity of those who support the missions.

Moments of reconciliation

Over two decades have passed since Pope John Paul II's historic speech to Indigenous Australians in Alice Springs in 1986. We ask some Indigenous leaders what have been some of the most significant recent landmarks for Indigenous Catholics in Australia.

Four things we can learn from indigenous cultures

Today, there are 370 million indigenous people in the world. Indigenous people make up 5 per cent of the world's population, yet they constitute 15 per cent of the world's poor. Caritas Australia's Walk as One campaign is currently raising awareness of this alarming statistic, and by getting involved in this campaign, we can do something about it.


The heart of the land

What can we learn about environmental issues from the first Australians?  

From young writers

Young Journalist Award Intermediate Runner up: Son of a preacher man

Fire: a destroyer, but also a strength.


Class discussion: The spirit of Indigenous Australia

In this edition of Australian Catholics, we recognise that Indigenous people are a gift to our Church and our society. Their traditions, history, and the way they are attuned to the world, give them a unique perspective on many issues. We can learn a great deal by listening to them.

In depth: Indigenous Australia

What do we need to do as the next step in moving forward in the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians?

Activities: Indigenous Australia

Activity on Indigenous Australia from the Summer 2013 edition

RE-cycled: Indigenous culture with rapper Philly

RE staff at Marymede Catholic College have fast-tracked their course material into the 21st century and brought RE to life for their students. To enliven their unit on Indigenous culture, RE Year 5 and 10 students were shown award-winning Koorie rapper Philly (Phil Murray) performing Bob Marley’s ‘Three little birds’ on Triple J’s ‘Like a version’.

Reflection: Land of the Holy Spirit

From Pope John Paul II 's address to Indigenous Australians at Blatherskyte Park, Alice Springs, 29 November 1986.

Reflection questions and activities for ‘A cabbage patch for kids’

Reflection questions and activities for ‘A cabbage patch for kids’ from the Christmas 2015 edition 


Photo: Global Panorama; Flickr CreativeCommons 








Topic tags: religiousandculturaldiversity, australianidentity, indigenousaustralians, socialjustice–australia

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