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Reconciliation message takes pride of place

22 May 2013

Reconciliation message takes pride of place

Angela Leitch of Indigenous Partnerships in the Department of Education, Training and Employment helps Director-General Dr Jim Watterston hang the Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples in his office in Education House. Photo: Ross Booker

The spirit of Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June) is alive and well in the office of the Director-General of the Department of Education, Training and Employment.

Dr Jim Watterston has shown his support for the week and its message by hanging a framed copy of the Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples in his Education House office.

The famous apology was originally made by the Commonwealth Government on Wednesday 13 February 2008.

Dr Waterston said the symbolic gesture of hanging a copy of the apology on his office wall was important, not just for the department's Indigenous staff and students but for all its staff and students.

'National Reconciliation Week offers a time for all communities to reflect on our shared histories, culture, contributions and achievements,' Dr Watterston said.

'The theme for this year's week is 'Let's Talk Recognition' which focuses on how Australians can better recognise each other and recognise the histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

'Hanging the transcript of the apology on the wall of my office is a symbolic gesture to demonstrate my department supports reconciliation and shares and supports the sentiments of the apology made in 2008.'

Departmental Reconciliation Week celebrations also include formally recognising the efforts of the long-standing Queensland Indigenous Education Consultative Committee (QIECC) and its retiring chair Gina Archer at a ceremony at Education House.

An Education House foyer display featuring working artists and screenings of the films Brand Nue Dae and Mabo are also planned. Details are on OnePortal (DETE employees only).

The department has developed a range of giveaway resources to celebrate Reconciliation Week. Visit Indigenous Partnerships online to download copies of the resources or phone the Indigenous Policy and Partnerships team (07) 3237 0350.

The theme for this year's week is 'Let's talk recognition'. The National Reconciliation Week website has additional information and resources for teachers.