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National Reconciliation Week 2024: Now More Than Ever
The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2024, “Now More Than Ever,” serves as a powerful reminder that the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is ongoing and must continue.

Despite moments in Australia’s reconciliation journey that may tempt us to turn away, disengaging or disconnecting during divisive times is the worst thing we can do. Now more than ever, we need to tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation.

Reconciliation Week Events

Central Coast Reconciliation Gathering

Students and staff had the honour of attending the 2024 Central Coast Reconciliation Gathering hosted by Coast Shelter. This remarkable community-building event involved a solidarity walk from Coast Shelter through Gosford’s town centre to Industree Group Stadium. At the stadium, participants were immersed in the rich culture of First Nations Peoples, experiencing dance, song, and truth-telling.

Walking Songlines

Building on the success of last year’s Walking Songlines, we have continued this immersive program throughout Term 1 and Term 2. Term 1 saw the program become available to all students in Years 10, 11, and 12 with students in Years 7, 8, and 9 having the opportunity to participate during Term 2. Both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students have shown great interest in participating. Additionally, several staff members have joined the program, deepening their connection to Country and sharing their knowledge with the school community upon their return.


Acknowledgement of Country Writing Workshops

In English classes, students learned the significance of Acknowledging Country and were given the opportunity to write and record their own personal Acknowledgements. These inspiring Acknowledgements will be used at various school events, such as assemblies, liturgies, meetings, and in the Daily Notices.

What is the difference between a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of Country?

A Welcome to Country offers safe passage and protection to visitors on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land. It has been part of Aboriginal culture since the beginning and calls for visitors to respect the protocols and rules of the landowner group. Only Traditional Custodians, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with permission from Traditional Custodians, can deliver a Welcome to Country.

An Acknowledgement of Country, on the other hand, is an opportunity for anyone to show respect for Traditional Custodians and their continuing connection to Country. It can be offered by any person at the beginning of a meeting, speech, or event. There is no specific wording required, just sincerity.

Incorporating Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country into meetings, gatherings, and events shows respect by upholding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural protocols. Taking the time to acknowledge Country or including a Welcome to Country at an event reminds us that we live and work on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands every day.

Thank you to all involved in the Reconciliation Week activities this year.

The RAP Committee