|Community invited to commemorate Reconciliation Week
This Monday will mark a special moment for our community with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council (PMHC) hosting National Reconciliation Week (NRW) activities at Town Beach.
NRW is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
The week commemorates two significant milestones in our history – the most successful Australian referendum of 27 May 1967 and the landmark High Court ruling of Mabo. Both moments helped changed the reconciliation journey for all Australian and Torres Strait Islanders.
In recognition of the week locally, PMHC has teamed up with local artist Mel Streater who was selected to design a mural to mark the occasion. A stencil of her work ‘Sea Life On The Guruk Coastline’ (pictured) has been applied by Brad Collins on a retaining wall along Charlie Uptin Walk, Town Beach, and now it’s time to help bring the body of the mural to life.
PMHC Group Manager Community, Lucilla Marshall, said the morning will provide the community with an opportunity to come together for a creative and harmonious celebration.
“To officially commence the project, members of the Marrungbalbu Group (Aboriginal Advisory Group) have been invited to join Council representatives to apply the first brush strokes to the mural to mark Reconciliation Week,” Ms Marshall said.
“Students from Hastings Secondary College will also be on hand to help, and of course Mel will deliver the finishing touches to the project that will have a permanent place in one of the most picturesque parts of Port Macquarie.”
The theme for this year’s National Reconciliation Week is ‘Be Brave. Make a change’ – which shines through in Mel’s work.
A descendant of the Wiradjuri nation and resident of the beautiful town of Guruk (Port Macquarie) on Birpai Country, Mel said her artwork is a representation of the great ocean creatures that call this country home.
“From the giant Humpback whales that make their annual migration along the East coast, to the playful, majestic dolphins that surf the waves; Guruk is home to many wonderful sea creatures, great and small,” she said.
“The Birpai people have lived alongside and cared for them since the first sunrise and continue to honour and nurture them to this day. We can look to our coastal First Nation’s Peoples to understand how to protect and care for our ocean friends.”
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