During first term EREA is hosting a series of Reconciliation Forums with Reconciliation Australia across the country. This initiative is part of the EREA National Office Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and is designed to support schools in the development of a Narragunnawali RAP, which recognises and supports the three pillars of reconciliation in their communities: respect, relationships and opportunities. The days are designed to celebrate what is already happening in schools, with Ambrose Treacy College, Ignatius Park College and St Virgil’s College sharing their experiences of completing the process. They have also provided opportunities for the Liberating Education Team and Reconciliation Australia to support schools who are in the process of developing a RAP. The first two days have been attended by school staff who have been leading this process, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and non-Indigenous staff.
A key component of the forums has been the participation in The Waterhole Exercise. The Waterhole Exercise is delivered through storytelling and immersion, asking participants to physically walk in the footsteps of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Blankets and sheets are used to represent their Country/s, waterways and waterholes. As the exercise progresses participants listen to and read from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and histories, accounts of European colonisation, and the resistance of the First Peoples, as well as the journey of all Australians towards reconciliation. These stories are essential as we journey together towards reconciliation.
Below: Launch of the EREA Reconciliation Action Plan 2019