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Maroondah celebrates National Reconciliation Week

By May 26, 2010June 8th, 2010One Comment

National Reconciliation Week is held between the 27th of May and the 3rd of June and aims to foster mutual respect and wellbeing between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

Alex with Aunty Doreen Garvey-Wandin, Wurundjeri/Wandoon Elder at the 2010 Launch of Reconciliation Week

Alex with Aunty Doreen Garvey-Wandin, Wurundjeri/Wandoon Elder at the 2010 Launch of Reconciliation Week

Maroondah celebrates Reconciliation Week through an official launch, which was held today to acknowledge National Sorry Day on the 26th of May. National Sorry Day was formed in 1998 and in recognition of the Bringing Them Home Report and to acknowledge past injustices towards indigenous Australians so as to begin the process of reconciliation

Maroondah released its Reconciliation Policy in 2009 and released its Community Wellbeing Plan earlier this year. Both plans strengthen Maroondah’s approach towards reconciliation through education and strengthening wellbeing within our community.

Alex announcing the acquisition of the painting Tali, reaffirming Maroondah's commitment to Reconciliation

Alex announcing the acquisition of the painting Tali, reaffirming Maroondah's commitment to Reconciliation

To reaffirm Council’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation I had the pleasure of announcing the acquisition of the painting Tali by Indigenous Elder Ray Ken. The artwork depicts the story of the sandhill country around Watarru, the country of Ray’s grandmother. The artwork will be on display until the 30th of July in the foyer of Maroondah Federation Estate.

A series of events will be provided in recognition of reconciliation week, including cultural awareness training, documentaries and workshops. For further details please visit

The speech delivered at the launch of Reconciliation Week 2010 is available within this post:

Maroondah City Council, in the spirit of reconciliation, acknowledges that we are meeting on the Land for which the Wurundjeri people have been custodians for many centuries, and on Land which the Indigenous Australians have performed age old ceremonies.

We accept, respect and have shared with the Wurundjeri people in their customs of welcome.

The Wurundjeri people support the coming together of all people, respecting their individuality, to focus on a unified and cohesive nation.

Welcome to the Launch of Maroondah City Council’s Reconciliation Week at Maroondah Federation Estate.

On behalf of Maroondah City Council I would like to welcome:

  • Aunty Doreen Garvey-Wandin, Wurundjeri/Wandoon Elder
  • Councillor Rob Steane
  • Mr Frank Dixon, the CEO of Maroondah City Council

We gather here today on National Sorry Day to commemorate the tabling of The Bringing Them Home Report in Federal Parliament, to honour the Stolen Generations and to acknowledge the suffering and hardship endured by Indigenous communities.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of National Reconciliation Week, now in its 15th year. This significant Week offers people across Australia the opportunity to focus on reconciliation, to hear about the culture and history of Australia’s Indigenous people, and to explore new and better ways of meeting challenges in our communities. Maroondah City Council is committed to maintaining a culturally diverse, welcoming and open society.

The 2010 theme for National Reconciliation Week is Reconciliation: Let’s see it through. This theme reminds us that respect, trust and the knowledge to turn good intentions into effective actions, pave the way forward for a brighter future. We are reminded that we must all, as Australians, embrace the future and aspire to achieve great things together.

I am thrilled to launch Council’s Reconciliation Week program today. A range of events and workshops are being held in Maroondah throughout the week including an Indigenous cultural awareness training workshop, a documentary screening focusing on the Aboriginal People of Victoria in the 1800s and an exciting array of student workshops. I encourage everyone to get involved in our program as it is a great way to learn more about the Indigenous culture and to join with other members of the community to celebrate reconciliation. If you would like to know more information, please take a copy of the full program located over on the main counter.

I would also like to take the opportunity to officially launch a new painting purchased from the Mayoral Acquisition Fund for the Maroondah Art Collection. This purchase will enhance our important collection of Indigenous works and will give the Maroondah community an opportunity to be inspired by Indigenous art and culture.

The painting called Tali was created in 2009 by Indigenous elder Ray Ken from the Tjala Arts community in South Australia. In this painting Ray Ken, depicts the story of the sand hill country around Watarru. The rich colours of yellow, blue and red vibrate with a bold intensity and create a visual dynamism to the work. This very effectively conveys the energy inherent in Aboriginal culture today. We are delighted to have this fine example of Indigenous artwork as part of our Collection. If you would like to know more about this painting and the artist, please feel free to take a brochure.

Finally, I would like to make a special mention to the following people for their support and community awareness:

  • Aunty Doreen Garvey-Wandin
  • Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place staff and community
  • Maroondah Movement for Reconciliation
  • The student workshop presenters – Shane Charles, Safina Fergie, Kim Wandin, Dion Bender and Stax the Didgeman.
  • And the enthusiastic schools and community members who will be taking part in our program over the next week.

I would like to thank everyone here for supporting Reconciliation Week. I hope that today’s experience has highlighted the ongoing importance of Reconciliation within our community.

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email:

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