A palpable spirit of togetherness energised yesterday’s inter-campus bushwalk to mark National Reconciliation Week 2017.
The first of two Walk and Talk events this week, each hosted by GUMURRII Student Support Unit, took a record number of participants from Griffith’s Mt Gravatt campus to the Nathan campus under the soft autumn sunshine.
Amidst the mix of students, staff and a 20-strong group from the Murri School was Professor Martin Betts (right), Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement), Griffith University.
“This important event, now in its seventh year, has developed into a platform where the university community can enthusiastically celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“Through walking and talking, we continue to foster new understandings, new relationships that bring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community together,” Professor Betts said.
National Reconciliation Week is an Australia-wide observance held each year, giving people the chance to come together and share in steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities.
This year’s events have added significance nationwide as 2017 marks 25 years since the historic Mabo decision and the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum where Australians voted overwhelmingly to amend the constitution to include Aboriginal people in the census and allow the Commonwealth to create laws for them.
It is also the 10th anniversary of the launch of Griffith’s Statement on Reconciliation—a public declaration of the university’s commitment to promoting an environment valuing the traditions, protocols and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“It gives you a sense of solidarity with people from diverse backgrounds where we can recognise things that have happened in our past and acknowledge the progress we’ve made collectively,” Leah Henderson, Kungullanji Program coordinator, said.
This week’s second walk, on Thursday, will start from the International Building on the Gold Coast campus at 10am.