National Reconciliation Week 2020 begins today, carrying a theme that is most pertinent for all Australians across the nation; “In this Together”.
Over recent months we have seen this theme become a phrase synonymous with local, national and global communities as they metaphorically embrace in support of one another to overcome the myriad of challenges laid down by COVID-19. On countless occasions we have witnessed how this united approach to healing, and to overcoming adversity, proves to be the most powerful.
This week, we are urged, as a nation, to embody this same approach as we continue to strive towards harmony, unity, and equality with our wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. At Joeys, we continue to be proud ambassadors of Reconciliation. The theme of NRW this year calls for a pursuit of positive improvement through the ideals of companionship and community. These ideals flow deep in the veins of Joeys culture as all who are connected with the school know they will “Never Walk Alone” as they “Strive For Better Things”.
The boys of the SJC Indigenous Program cherish the tangible spirit of Reconciliation that is alive at Joeys and take great pride in knowing that as a College, we are able to provide an example for the wider community. Zac Hart (Year 12), a proud Gumbayngirr man from Coffs Harbour, regards the sense of real unity within the College, stating that relationships are “really connected both ways between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous boys. It’s great that the boys feel comfortable asking us about our culture and are genuinely interested.”
“It’s great that the boys feel comfortable asking us about our culture and are genuinely interested”.Zac Hart – Year 12
This tangible connectedness is not lost on new mates Peter Prentice (Year 7) from Coonamble, and Darnell Murray Gibbs (Year 7), a Gamilaroi man from Walgett. The boys returned to on-site learning at the College together after Peter offered Darnell a lift. Darnell explained that the two boys “were great mates. I have been speaking language and Peter has been learning it. We just have a good connection.”Peter does not understand how any disharmony could ever exist. When asked about Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians he replied “I don’t see any difference. A mate is a mate.”