How to mark Reconciliation Day 2021 in Canberra | HerCanberra

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How to mark Reconciliation Day 2021 in Canberra

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Monday 31 May is Reconciliation Day 2021 and this year the theme for this important day is ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes action’.

As we reflect on this important message, you can begin to take action by attending one of the many Reconciliation Day events across Canberra.

“Reconciliation Day provides a special opportunity to encourage conversation about the importance of reconciliation to all Canberrans and, indeed, all Australians,” says Chris Bourke, the first Indigenous member of the ACT Legislative Assembly and Co-Chair of the ACT Reconciliation Council.

“We urge Canberrans to come and be part of the events and take the opportunity to develop an understanding of what we can do as a community, and as individuals, to contribute to reconciliation.”

ACT Reconciliation Day 2021

This year the ACT Government is organising a day of culture and community at the National Arboretum, featuring live music from the Griffyn Ensemble, Wiradjuri Echoes, and Johnny Huckle, a yarning circle with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders, Ngunnawal language workshops, creative activities including basket weaving, butterfly craft, and sturt desert pea making, guided cultural walks through the forest, a screening of a collection of short cultural and truth-telling videos, a portrait exhibition and live panel discussion showcasing the stories of some of Canberra’s Elders and advocates for Reconciliation, bush tucker tastings, fun community games and a free barbeque.

Monday 31 May from 10 am–2 pm | National Arboretum Canberra |

Slide Night with Uncle Mervyn Bishop at the NFSA

As a young boy growing up in the western NSW town of Brewarrina, Mervyn Bishop began photographing family gatherings, friends and landscapes on his mum’s Kodak 620 camera.

He then began hosting the backyard slide nights for which he would become renowned, telling the stories of his most recent adventures behind the camera.

Join Uncle Mervyn as he re-creates his entertaining and fascinating slide shows as part of our National Reconciliation Week celebrations. The Mervyn Bishop exhibition will be open exclusively for ticket holders from 5 pm – 6.45 pm. Ticket price includes snacks on arrival from Ribanas Catering

Friday 28 May from 7 pm | National Film and Sound Archive |

Milk by Dylan Van Den Berg

Canberra-based writer Dylan Van Den Bergwinner of the 2021 Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting at the NSW Premiers Literary Awards, brings to the stage the uneasy personal process of reconciliation in Milk.

What are the complexities of aligning yourself with Indigenous legacies of resilience when you are also related to their oppressors? Does the passage of time undermine connection to Country?

3-5 June | The Street Theatre, Childers Street, Acton |

Bush Tucker Walk at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands

Join Ngunnawal man Richie Allen and Wiradjuri woman Dhani Gilbert at Jerrabomberra Wetlands during Reconciliation week for a special walk.

Enjoy a taste of bush tucker straight from the fire and head out on a walk to learn about Indigenous connection to Country.

Saturday 29 May | Jerrabomberra Wetlands |

Reconciliation Week Tours at the National Portrait Gallery

Explore the National Portrait Gallery’s collection of works by and of First Nations peoples in a special Reconciliation Week walking tour?

Until 3 June | National Portrait Gallery |


Why not support local Indigenous businesses using our directory…

Or listen to our 2020 podcast to learn about Wiradjuri woman and 2021 ACT Young Woman of the Year Dhani Gilbert.

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