USQ Reflects On Sorry Day & National Reconciliation Week

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) community will gather this week to remember the Stolen Generations and celebrate Australia’s steps towards reconciliation.  Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas has invited all staff and students to attend the University’s events for National Sorry Day (May 26) and National Reconciliation Week (May 28).

National Sorry Day has been held since 1998 and provides the chance for people to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. USQ will be screening Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s apology and staff and students will speak on what National Sorry Day means to them.  The event will be followed by a sit down lunch with Indigenous Elders, invited USQ staff and students, and key members of the wider community.

National Reconciliation Week marks the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and a defining event in our nation’s history.  The 1967 referendum saw over 90 percent of Australians vote to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise them in the national census.

The week also recognises the High Court of Australia landmark Mabo decision, which legally recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ special relationship to the land. This year USQ will celebrate the week in the newly established Gumbi Gumbi Gardens with dance performances, a presentation on USQ’s approach to reconciliation and opportunities to hear stories from indigenous elders.

What: National Sorry Day USQ event
When:Monday, May 26, 2014, 12.00pm to 1.00pm
Where: USQ Refectory (R Block), USQ Toowoomba

What:National Reconciliation Week USQ evenT
When:Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 12.00pm to 2.00pm
Where: Gumbi Gumbi Gardens, USQ Toowoomba

USQ acknowledges the Giabal and Jarowair of Toowoomba; the Jagera, Yuggera and Ugarapul of Springfield; and the Butchulla of Fraser Coast; traditional owners of the lands where each USQ campus is located.

Submitted by:
Rhianwen Whitney
University of Southern Queensland

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