Blackfriars marks National Reconciliation Week with Kaurna workshop, Mass

Marni naa pudni.

To mark National Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June), Blackfriars has welcomed Aboriginal Elder Uncle Tamaru, who ran a  Kaurna Language Workshop for a group of students from Years 5-12.

Uncle Tamaru also spoke with the students about the true meaning of reconciliation.

“My community, we don’t want to walk here in front of you. My community, we don’t want to walk here behind you. We want to walk right here, side-by-side with you,” Uncle Tamaru told the students.

“We need to walk together on this country. This is the true spirit of reconciliation.

“When I look in this audience, I am really happy. I see kids from all over the world growing up together and I know in 10 years’ time, on my country, there is going to be no racism.

“I have no room in my heart for racism. I have no room on my country for racism. We need to walk together.”

Uncle Tamaru ran a Kaurna language workshop for a group of Blackfriars’ students.

Uncle Tamaru taught the students several key words in Kaurna, including ngaitalya, which translates as “my respect”.

“I’d love you to learn this language, and we’re going to start today,” said Uncle Tamaru, whose nephew, Paul Herzich, created the artwork that welcomes visitors to Blackfriars.

“My dad was one of eight people stolen from his mother, my grandmother, and he was whipped not to speak this (Kaurna language), but you guys do it now, and learn it, and it makes me so proud and happy.

“Sometimes I cry tears of joy. I just wish my dad was here to hear it, to see it in action.”

Blackfriars’ Welcome to Country artwork, created by Paul Herzich from Mantirri Design.

Blackfriars’ Assistant Principal: Religious Identity and Mission Angela Collins said Reconciliation Week was a significant week on the school’s calendar.

Blackfriars will on Wednesday hold a Mass – with a Welcome to County by cultural adviser and member of the school’s Reconciliation Action Plan working group Veena Raymond – to mark Reconciliation Week.

Our First XVIII, First XI and Open A basketball teams will also wear their indigenous jumpers.

Cultural adviser Veena Raymond will conduct the Welcome to Country at this week’s Reconciliation Week Mass.

“The theme for this year’s Reconciliation Week is Now More Than Ever,” Ms Collins said.

“If you can, take a moment today to think about what you can bring to the table with regards to reconciliation.

“As with most things, for reconciliation to continue to progress it takes those who pave the way, those who promote, those who teach, those who learn and those who embody in their daily lives the underlying ethics that foster this ambition.

“For us as a society to be better, we, as individuals, need to be better.”

Main picture: Picture: Facebook/Deadly Mob

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