Heartfelt display of solidarity during Reconciliation Week

In Learmont’s front window you can read local pledges written to inspire reconciliation across the community.

In a beautiful display of solidarity, Tumut residents, schools and businesses placed their hands on their hearts to pledge ways in which they will contribute to achieving reconciliation as the nation marks National Reconciliation Week between May 27 and June 3.

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, with the 2024 theme, ‘Now More Than Ever’. 

Locally, Tumut Community Preschool advocated to mark the important week by encouraging the community to write pledges of support that can now been seen in Learmont’s front window in Russell Street.

Over 100 handwritten pledges of solidarity, bold actions and change to inspire reconciliation across the community can be found in the heart-shaped messages.

In her pledge, Snowy Valleys Council (SVC) deputy mayor Trina Thomson said the council pledges to respect and recognise our First Nations people across all aspects of SVC.

“To make decisions that reflect and support the longest, continuous living culture in the world!” Cr Thomson wrote.

Pie in the Sky Bakery pledged to support local First Nations businesses and artists, while Tumut Public School pledged to have every class deliver their Acknowledgement of Country at their school assemblies.

NRMA Tumut pledged to create opportunities for all children and young people to succeed, to shine and to be proud of their heritage, while Franklin Public School pledged to expand student and staff knowledge of First Nations languages by integrating them into their everyday actions at the school.

Aunty Sue Bulger applauds the pledge initiative put together by the local preschool.

“Our preschool does such a wonderful job during Reconciliation Week, and Reconciliation Week is also always recognised in our local schools each year,” Aunty Sue said.

“For me it’s an ongoing process and certainly is a step in trying to get that balance of equality for First Nations people and recognition for our Elders and the struggles that Aboriginal people have been through.

“There are changes in things that affect Aboriginal people and the results of The Voice was one of those things.

“We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.”

As the national lead body for reconciliation, Reconciliation Australia has a vision for a just, equitable and reconciled Australia, with their purpose being to inspire and enable all Australians to contribute to the reconciliation of the nation.

“Reconciliation supporters must stand up to defend and uphold the rights of First Nations people, to call out racism wherever we encounter it, and to actively reinforce the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across this continent,” they said.

“Now more than ever, the work continues. In treaty making, in truth-telling, in understanding our history, in education, and in tackling racism.

“We need connection. We need respect. We need action. And we need change.

“Now more than ever, we need reconciliation.”

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