“Ultimately, reconciliation between non-Indigenous peoples and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples represents hope, a commitment to building a better future for all, where the wounds of the past are acknowledged, healed and transformed into a foundation of understanding, respect and solidarity among all members of our community.”
That was the message from Principal David Ruggiero, who today formally launched Blackfriars’ Reconciliation Action Plan.
“At Blackfriars, we envision a future deeply rooted in reconciliation, where the spirit of unity, respect and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and histories flourishes among all members of our community,” Mr Ruggiero said at today’s launch.
“We foster a culture of respect and acknowledgment for the traditional custodians of the land on which our school stands. We recognise and honour the enduring connections Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have with the land, waters and community.”
The plan sets goals for developing relationships and respect in the classroom, around the school and with the community. It also calls on staff to identify opportunities in the classroom, around the school and in the community to promote reconciliation.
Mr Ruggiero said the plan challenged the Blackfriars community to “make a difference”.
“When I was a student at Blackfriars, we didn’t have an indigenous cultural adviser who came out to the school,” he said.
“To see the artwork that we now have on display, it’s just testimony to how our world is changing. You walk into the Aquinas Centre and we have this magnificent indigenous artwork that captures us.
“But this is about so much more than just nice-looking artworks. We actually have to do something and that’s what this plan challenges us to do; to make a difference in the way we respond and act and live.
Thank you to Mr Ruggiero, Angela Collins, Mandy Duggan, Rosie Petrilli, Clancy Page and Kendall Schenk and Blackfriars community members Veena Raymond and Samantha Skinner for working to bring the Reconciliation Action Plan to fruition.