National Reconciliation Week – Be Brave, Make Change

Published on 02 June 2022


Nillumbik Shire Council has marked National Reconciliation Week with a flag-raising ceremony at the Civic Centre in Greensborough today.
For the first time, both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were able to be raised together for Reconciliation Week following the recent installation of an extra two new flag poles outside the Civic Centre. This has allowed Council to permanently fly both the Torres Strait Island and the Progress Pride flags alongside the Aboriginal and Australian flags.
Today’s ceremony began with a Welcome to Country by Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Ian Hunter and a wonderful performance by Indigenous performers Ganga Giri featuring singer Michelle MTonesZ.
Uncle Ian handed out clap sticks to the children in attendance and encouraged everyone to join him in a song, which was inspired by stories from reel-to-reel footage of his great aunt interviewed many years ago by an anthropologist.
The event was attended by Councillors, members of the Nillumbik Reconciliation Group and students from Catholic Ladies College, Eltham North Primary School and Apollo Parkways Primary School
Nillumbik Mayor Frances Eyre said Council had a critical role to play in Reconciliation in partnership with Traditional Owners, First Nations Victorians, other levels of government and the community.
“The theme for this year’s Reconciliation Week is Be Brave. Make Change. We are asking everyone in Nillumbik to make change by taking brave actions in their daily lives – where you live, work and play,” she said.
Cr Eyre said Council was taking significant steps in its Reconciliation journey.
“We are in the process of developing Council’s first Reconciliation Action Plan and Reconciliation is at the heart of all our key strategies moving forward,” she said.
“Our new Reconciliation Grants Program has seen a number of local community groups given financial support for Reconciliation activities.”
Nillumbik Reconciliation Group President Jan Aitken spoke of the need to take moral responsibility for Reconciliation.
“What we can do now is speak to others about this morality, this need our country has for the inclusion of the First Nations, First Peoples in our constitution in a manner that is meaningful for them,” she said.
“We are on the brink of the beginning of a real reconciliation. One that hasn’t been with us before now. Let us do our bit towards making that a reality.”

Representing Catholic Ladies College, Year 12 Reconciliation Captain, Indi Sandwell spoke of recognising the struggles and celebrating the successes and achievements of First Nations people; while ‘Fire Carriers’ Kirra Imbriano and Olivia Giannios said, “We stand with you in the spirit of absolute reconciliation, friendship and solidarity. We share your dreams and we make promise during Reconciliation Week that we will continue to work hard to ensure that Australia becomes the place that it should be. The journey towards self-determination is challenging but we promise to listen to you and fight with you for justice.”