On Country experience

Reconciliation. Reconciliation Week is an opportunity to come together in the spirit of truth and friendship.

Reconciliation Tasmania was launched by Tasmania’s governor and premier in August last year. This year will be the first year Tasmania has been able to participate fully with all other Australian states in Reconciliation Week.

“I think that we sorely need truth and reconciliation in Tasmania as I believe that there is a widely held view that Tasmania’s Aboriginal population is treated ‘specially’ for no good reason,” says Bill Lawson AM, co-chair and board member of Reconciliation Tasmania.

“For me, there is good reason non-Aboriginal Tasmanians like me are the beneficiaries of the dispossession of the First Tasmanians.

“I live in a wonderful place with wonderful possessions and places to visit on land and sea. I often ponder who was here before me and what they were doing before the ships arrived. Their descendants are here with me today but have often not had the opportunities I have enjoyed.

“I believe I have a personal responsibility to the First Tasmanians to actively seek reconciliation. This is not guilt but a sense of fairness.”

Reconciliation Tasmania is committed to creating opportunities so that all Tasmanians are able to learn and understand both our shared history and future – shared with the First Tasmanians. Reconciliation Tasmania welcomes new members through its website and suggests participation in the upcoming Reconciliation Week activities as a good way to get started.

Reconciliation Week is held from Sunday May 27 to Sunday June 3.

An ‘On Country’ day will be held at Rocky Cape National Park, pinmatik, the following week on Sunday June 10, 9.30am to 4pm.

This event will allow interested locals to experience Tasmanian Aboriginal culture up close and personal. There is no charge but numbers are limited.

To find out more visit www.rectas.com.au.

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