UOW is celebrating National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June) through various events and activities to grow awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture, knowledge and history, and build a more cohesive and equitable community.

Each year UOW staff and students come together during National Reconciliation Week to celebrate the individual and professional achievements of people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their contributions to making UOW a culturally diverse and inclusive university.

The events are organised by UOW’s Woolyungah Indigenous Centre (WIC), which is committed to increasing the participation and engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the University.

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (SDVC) Portfolio picnic lunch

The SDVC portfolio shared a picnic lunch on Thursday 27 May with reconciliation themed trivia and prizes.

Reconciliation Takes Action Panel Discussion

UOW hosted a panel discussion on the Reconciliation Week theme of “More than a word. Reconciliation takes action” on Monday (31 May), exploring how we can all take action for reconciliation.

Members of UOW’s Indigenous community were invited to reflect and share their own lived experiences, and the panel discussion ranged across topics of cultural competency and cultural safety, values alignment, becoming a change agent, and understanding what reconciliation is in the workplace.

The panel included UOW Executive Director (Indigenous Strategy) and Woolyungah Indigenous Centre Director Jaymee Beveridge, Dr Summer May Finlay from the School of Health and Society, UOW Reconciliation Action Plan Manager Jo Goulding, and Centre Manager of the establishing Regional Universities Centre – Country Universities Centre Adam Gowen.

Reconciliation Walks

This year’s events also include Reconciliation Walks on Friday May 28 and Thursday 3 June, and an invitation for people to contribute to UOW’s Reconciliation Book 2021, thinking about their own reconciliation journey and adding their ideas on the themes of “reflect” and “intent”.

Reconciliation Book 2021: Call for reconciliation statements of reflection and intent

The reconciliation statements is a compilation of individual and professional achievements in the reconciliation space as well as an opportunity to consider an ‘intention’ of reconciliation for the coming year. The book will then be gifted to UOW as a reminder of how important relationships, engagement, collaboration and intention are to maintaining momentum and transformational change through reconciliation at UOW.

We encourage everyone to provide their own reconciliation statement of reflection and intent here.

Please see below for the SDVC’s reconciliation statements that will the opening statements in the 2021 Reconciliation Book.

Reconciliation Reflection Statement 2020-2021

“Since the Indigenous Strategy Office has moved into my portfolio, I have had the opportunity to review and reflect how my leadership role fits in this space. I have recently had the opportunity to engage in ceremony held at Woolyungah, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Yesterday I convened my portfolio on the McKinnon lawn for a “Reconciliation Picnic on the Green” to further highlight the importance of supporting Reconciliation at UOW and I would like to personally thank all staff for participating – a humble albeit fitting event to mark Start of this occasion and also the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum,” said Professor Joe Chicharo, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Reconciliation Reflection Statement 2021-2022

“As an Executive leader of UOW, I would like commit to providing support and encouragement to my teams and remind us all, that as  a collective,  we do need to create a better, more inclusive future by moving forward with mutual respect, support, cultural understanding and Acknowledgement of the Traditional Custodians of this wonderful country.

Yesterday was an excellent example that reconciliation is stronger than ever at UOW, and that there is a willingness and genuine desire to lean in and seek how we can all operationalise reconciliation in our roles and personal lives.   It stands as a powerful reminder of what is important for all of us. I am entirely confident that collectively UOW will take reconciliation to a new level with the unwavering support of our new Vice-Chancellor and Governing body” said Professor Joe Chicharo, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

For the full media release about Reconciliation Week, please click here.

Reconciliation Panelists: RAP Manager Jo Goulding, Dr Summer May Finlay, Executive Director Jaymee Beveridge, Alumni Adam Gowan