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MEDIA RELEASE - Looking at the Big Picture of Reconciliation

27 May 2019

A group of local Indigenous youth have come together to share their thoughts and hopes for achieving reconciliation as part of a first of its kind creative campaign in the Glenelg Shire.

The Big Picture project will be unveiled as part of 2019 National Reconciliation Week (NRW) celebrations and features images and messages displayed on empty shopfronts throughout the Portland and Heywood CBD.

The pictures profile five local Indigenous young people, with a brief personal blurb from each participant reflecting on their cultural experiences, community acceptance and what reconciliation means to them.

The pictures seek to educate the community, strengthen relationships and celebrate the shire’s rich indigenous heritage, paving the way for reconciliation.

Project participant Jannah Firebrace sees education as the key to moving forward.

“In completing Year 12 and attending more than eight schools throughout my life I have noticed an absence of aboriginal history in schools relative to other histories that are taught. I think education is an important foundation in the reconciliation of indigenous and non-indigenous people,” she said.

“I think the lack of knowledge and detail of what happened during colonisation and the correlating effect today is what is influencing society to create negative stereotypes.

“I think we need to strengthen and deepen what is being taught in schools today, to provide all students throughout their schooling life with a culturally, meaningful education of aboriginal history."

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank praised the candour of the project participants.

“The Big Project ties in with this year’s NRW theme, Grounded in Truth, Walk Together with Courage. Each image is a process of truth telling about our nation’s past and present on topics such as education, sport and leadership, with the hope of bringing the community together through this greater cultural and historical understanding,” she said.

“I thank all of the participants who have bravely shared their stories as part of this project, their honesty will help us to achieve a unified future.

“I urge all community members to take the time to view these images and read the important reflections from our region’s future leaders – let’s learn more about and celebrate our shared histories, cultures, and achievements.”

The Big Pictures can be viewed at the following locations from May 27 – June 24:
• 56 Percy Street Portland
• 86 Percy Street Portland
• 57A Bentinck Street Portland
• 75 Edgar Street Heywood
• 21 Scott Street Heywood

The project has been produced in partnership with Glenelg Shire Council and Dhauwurd-Wurrung Elderly & Community Health Service (DWECH) for National Reconciliation Week, which runs annually from 27 May – 3 June.

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about the shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.


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