National Reconciliation Week happens every year, with the purpose of educating all Australians about our shared history and celebrate the culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Running from May 27 to June 3, these dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively
At Hidden Secrets, we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Land on which we stand and walk. We acknowledge the Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation and pay our respect to their Elders, past and present, as well as emerging leaders.
2020 marks the 20th year of Reconciliation Australia, with the theme for this year In This Together. You can learn more about the reconciliation movement via Reconciliation Australia here.
There are so many wonderful events and initiatives across the week, including the Virtual Indigenous Film Festival, showing documentaries and films such as Stan Grant and Adam Goode’s The Australian Dream, and Gurrumul; as well as the Reconciliation Australia In Concert Together which you can tune into here.
You may also like to check out the Melbourne Library Service reading list, Seven books for the seven days of National Reconciliation Week. We certainly believe that it is through multiple voices and perspectives that we can best perceive and understand the world we live in.
First Nations culture and history continues to be both acknowledged and celebrated all year round, and we’ve put together a small guide of ways you can connect with these important stories in Melbourne. Note: Of course all of the above experiences or venues may be open or running at the moment, but we look forward to their returning in the not too distant future.
Koorie Heritage Trust
The Koorie Heritage Trust in Federation Square exists to promote, support and celebrate the continuing journey of the Aboriginal people of South Eastern Australia, and is a great place to spend an afternoon in the city.
For now, you can access KHT Voices on their website, a curated digital platform that presents a series of short essays, interviews and stories about how First Nations communities are responding to the COVID-19 crisis, as well as exhibitions online here.
When the time is right, you can also explore Federation Square and Birrarung Marr and to learn about the Aboriginal history of Melbourne city with an Aboriginal Walking Tour here.
If a virtual tour is more up your alley, you can check out the interactive walking trail, Trails of Feelings too.
NGV Australia: The Ian Potter Centre
NGV Australia: The Ian Potter Centre houses the exhibition Marking Time: Indigenous Art from the NGV, which looks at the persistence of images, signs or text painted or drawn on a range of surfaces in Indigenous Australia, from ancient times until now. Parts of the exhibition are available to be viewed online here.
Melbourne Museum is home to the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, which tells the story of Aboriginal Victoria from the time of Creation to today, and it is well worth a visit.
The Royal Botanical Gardens
Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens offer a number of insightful walks, including their Aboriginal Heritage Walk, a First Nations Climate Justice Walk and a Bush Food Experience which is run in conjunction with Charcoal Lane and William Angliss Institute. You can cehck out these tours and experiences here.
Speaking of Charcoal Lane, to get a taste for native Australian food fare, we recommend dining at their restaurant in Fitzroy. Visited by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, on their visit to Melbourne in 2018, Charcoal Lane is a social enterprise restaurant that provides guidance and opportunity to young Aboriginal people who are in need of a fresh start in life.