Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) has begun Reconciliation Week by launching their new Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with a ceremony in Melbourne today, led by a formal Welcome to Country from Wurundjeri Elders from the Kulin Nation.
Torres Strait Islander students from Ignatius Park College, Townsville, were a significant part of the ceremony, which was held at St Kevin’s College, Waterford Campus, Richmond.
The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program provides a strategic framework for organisations to support the national reconciliation movement. It includes practical actions that will further drive EREA’s contribution to reconciliation both internally and in the communities in which we operate.
Dr Wayne Tinsey, EREA Executive Director, recommitted Edmund Rice Education Australia to working with and walking alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in its educational endeavour.
“In advancing the five dimensions of reconciliation – Race Relations, Equality and Equity, Institutional Integrity, Historical Acceptance and Unity – EREA wishes to provide strong leadership in promoting respectful relationships and creating meaningful opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The EREA National Innovate RAP will provide guidance and momentum for each EREA school to develop its own RAP through Reconciliation Australia and its Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education program.”
Ms Thelma Parker, Executive Officer of EREA RAP Committee, shared the words of St John Paul II, when he spoke at Alice Springs in 1986:
‘You are part of Australia and Australia is part of you. And the Church herself in Australia will not be fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until you have made your contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received by others.’
Ms Karen Mundine, CEO of Reconciliation Australia, has welcomed EREA to the Reconciliation Action Plan program and formally endorsed its innovative RAP.
“We wish Edmund Rice Education Australia well as it explores and establishes its own unique approach to reconciliation. On behalf of Reconciliation Australia, I commend Edmund Rice Education Australia on its RAP, and look forward to following its ongoing reconciliation journey”.