National Sorry Day & A Sea of Hearts for Reconciliation Week

Be Brave Make Change

Monash Residential Services is home to thousands of students from around Australia and the world. We endeavour to run events that help raise awareness within our diverse community about key dates of social and cultural significance. The 26th May is National Sorry Day and the 27th May to 3rd June is National Reconciliation Week. At MRS a number of activities took place to educate and encourage action.

This year's MRS Indigenous Scholar, Steph Hines, is a proud Wangkumara woman and she created a video explaining what reconciliation week means to her. This was shared with residents via social media and played at suppers across the Halls to inform the activities.

Every year, National Sorry Day remembers and acknowledges the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, which we now know as ‘The Stolen Generations’. This is a day to acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generations Survivors and reflect on how we can all play a part in the healing process for our people and nation. While this date carries great significance for the Stolen Generations and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it is commemorated by Australians right around the country.

Students and staff of MRS created a number of displays of paper flowers in their residences to commemorate National Sorry Day as a community. The five-petal Native Cotton, Desert Rose, or Native Hibiscus as we know it, was chosen by members of the Kimberley Stolen Generation Aboriginal Corporation to represent the resilience of those who were removed from their families. The flower was adopted because it is found widely across Australia and it is a survivor. Its colour denotes compassion and healing.

National Reconciliation Week (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 2022 National Reconciliation Week theme is Be Brave Make Change. This is a challenge to all of us to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians.

To acknowledge that “reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all” we invited our residents and staff to make a Be Brave Make Change pledge and created a sea of hearts. This was displayed outside our Halls Cafe for students and members of the community to view. Change begins with brave actions in your daily life – where you live, work, play and socialise.

Source: https://nrw.reconciliation.org.au/about-nrw/

Source: https://nrw.reconciliation.org.au/2022-actions-to-make-change/

Image of sea of hearts outside halls cafe