Aboriginal Dancer

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio is urging the community to take time to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we live on during National Reconciliation Week from Wednesday, 27 May to 3 June 2020.

Mayor Antonio said during National Reconciliation Week; we acknowledge the Aboriginal parties whose song lines traverse the lands we are on today and pay respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

“This is a significant time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort,” Mayor Antonio said.

“Reconciliation Week recognises two significant dates that all Australians can be proud of, the anniversaries of the 1967 Referendum and the High Court Mabo land rights decision.

“These historically significant dates still matter today. They show us that Australians have come together in the past to stand up for what’s right and can build a brighter future, together.

“At its heart, reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.

“This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Reconciliation Week, 20 years on from when Australia came together to walk on bridges and roads across the nation to show support for a more reconciled Australia.”

Deputy Mayor, Cr Geoff McDonald said that just over 12 months ago, in January 2019 Council formally appointed the first community representatives on the newly established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.

“The core functions of this committee’s formation is to develop and implement the Toowoomba Regional Council Reconciliation Action Plan and advise Council on strategy and planning with cultural input, and also to assist in growing Indigenous tourism,” Cr McDonald said.

“We often talk about the various Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander links we have in our region and the establishment of the Advisory Committee has formalised these connections throughout the Council.

“This essential committee is guiding Council on the cultural needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community.

“The theme for this year’s Reconciliation Week is ‘In This Together 2020’, and who would have known during this challenging time, how fitting this message would be.

“Despite our isolation, we celebrate our first peoples, and re-commit to working together as a nation towards reconciliation.”

For more information about National Reconciliation Week go to www.reconciliation.org.au/national-reconciliation-week/