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Feros Care shows support for National Reconciliation Week


Beginning Wednesday, National Reconciliation Week commemorates the 1967 Referendum acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the High Court Mabo decision.

Collectively building relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures, the week is also a time for all Australians to learn about our shared past and achievements.

Starting with an online presentation on Wednesday, Feros Care’s Local Area Coordinators (LACs) will have a chance to support and learn about the week through a presentation from Reconciliation Australia’s, Joelle Lowe.

Feros Care Project Lead and proud Aboriginal Woman, Tash Jessimer, said the connection to Joelle was made possible through Feros Care’s application to submit a draft for its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

Tash, who is leading the implementation of the RAP, said it was not only important for Feros Care’s staff to support the week, but learn about its history and meaning to fully embrace its values.

“Joelle will be presenting on National Reconciliation Week and why we celebrate it, and she’ll talk about how Reconciliation ties into our RAP,” Tash said.

“Staff will also gain a more in-depth understanding of what Reconciliation is and means, and there’ll be a question and answer session, so everyone knows how to get involved.

“It’s really satisfying. We should all be passionate about Reconciliation and it’s important to bring everyone along on the journey, so they know how to play their part.

“This will provide information on how everyone can do that.”

The week will also see an art session carried out virtually on Feros Care’s Virtual Social Centre (VSC) by renowned Aboriginal artist Narelle Urquhart for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants and carers on Thursday, and two screenings of In My Blood It Runs on Friday.

Catering to seniors for many years, the VSC is a vibrant, online community, allowing people to connect virtually to do the things they love through a variety of learning and social sessions. In a first for LAC, and aptly named Art Yarn, Narelle will deliver a live, one-hour art session, which will see the storytelling and techniques behind her paintings come to life in what will also be a first for the acclaimed artist.

“I’m really excited about Narelle being involved, and we really wanted to make sure we were involving our participants and carers in commemorating the week with us,” Tash said.

“National Reconciliation Week is about connecting, and in the current climate, it’s wonderful we have something like the VSC where we can still involve people with National Reconciliation week virtually.”

While finishing with In My Blood It Runs, which tells the story of a 10-year-old Aboriginal boy and his family’s strive to provide him with the best education possible, Tash said there was other ways people can engage with the week and show their support.

Intertwined with the values underlying the RAP, Tash said it was crucial for everyone to get involved.

“Our RAP is focussed on relationships, respect and opportunities and that ties in with the meaning behind National Reconciliation Week,” she said.

“As we continue our journey, National Reconciliation Week will only continue to grow. Australia is a diverse country, and it’s important to acknowledge our first peoples and celebrate their culture and history together.”

Visit the National Reconciliation Week website for more ways to engage and show your support.

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