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Open hearts for National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week 2022 was a week for Team Ruah to open our hearts and choose to learn more about our country’s shared history and culture and explore how each of us can be brave and make change towards achieving reconciliation.

We were grateful for opportunities throughout the week to continue our own journey of discovery and education which proved to be inspiring and illuminating.

Aboriginal educator and illustrator Rhys Paddick and Change Strategist Emma Gibbens presented their interactive workshop Acknowledge This! to staff who came away with a greater understanding and deeper appreciation of Country and what it means to Aboriginal people, and worked on their own personal Acknowledgement of Country.

We were also lucky to enjoy meaningful yarns with two Ruah board members, Freda Ogilvie and Braden Hill who generously shared their stories, their journeys with Ruah, and what reconciliation means to them. In one staff member’s words: “This was a very positive experience. It provided an opportunity to listen to Freda and Braden telling their stories which is always such a powerful way to forge connections. It also provided staff the chance to express their fear of ‘getting it wrong’ and feed back the message that it’s OK to make mistakes. It’s about owning and learning from these and asking questions to better understand.”

The week ended with the Walk for Reconciliation through beautiful Kaarta Koomba (Kings Park). This is a highly spiritual and significant place to the Whadjuk Noongar people and lies at the heart of its culture. We joined hundreds of people unified by the desire to take steps towards reconciliation, and enjoyed the many opportunities for learning, reflection and cultural enrichment that were dotted along the 1km walking circuit.