National Reconciliation Week 2022 at Goodstart’s Centre Support Office in Qld
Goodstart centres and centre support offices have celebrated National Reconciliation Week in a variety of ways this week.
Centre teams worked with local First Nations community members to bring a local perspective to their events during this important week.
At our Centre Support Office in Brisbane, we were fortunate to be joined by two extraordinary Torres Strait Islanders who joined a panel with our CEO Julia Davison and Goodstart’s Torres Strait Islander Cultural Liaison, Peter Pilot-Wakaisu to yarn about many elements of reconciliation including their own experiences, joys and sorrows.
Charles Passi, a Mer and Erub Islander, is the former Chair of the Healing Foundation along with many other senior government and community roles.
We also got to hear from Uncle Bill Lowah, a Torres Strait Islander social commentator, originally from Thursday Island. He has been prominent in social justice and community organisations and was one of foundation members of the Reconciliation Council over 30 years ago.
Charles and Uncle Bill spoke of impact of issues that impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, from the Stolen Generation to Native Title and Black Deaths in Custody and recommendation 339 that calls on political leaders and governments to recognise and support reconciliation.
We also got to hear their perspectives on the Mabo High Court discission and its impact on First Nations people 30 years later, and the sense of identity that came with the creation of the Torres Strait Islander flag - that also celebrates its 30th
Anniversary this year, as well as their vision for the future of reconciliation in Australia.
Before our celebration came to an end, we were incredibly grateful to be joined by Torres Strait Islander performer and storyteller Daniel ‘Basoki’ Dow who played a traditional hymn.
The National Reconciliation Week event was also a fundraiser for Children’s Ground an innovative Indigenous Early Year organisation in the Northern Territory that bases their learning program on culture and Indigenous Knowledge Systems.
As part of Goodstart’s ongoing commitment to weaving reconciliation through all that we do, each of our centres has its own Reconciliation Action Plan. This is particularly important as more than 6.7 percent of children attending our centres identify as Indigenous.
Recently Goodstart Early Learning became the only early learning organisation and one of just 43 Australian organisations to take part in the first ever snapshot of Indigenous employment as part of the First Nations Employment Index. The Index assessed our First Nations Employment Strategy plan and will help track the employment, training and retention of First Nations people. Learn more here.