Cumberland Council will celebrate National Reconciliation Week (May 27-June 3) with activities for all ages.
At the Auburn Botanic Garden Open Day on Sunday, May 28, 10am-4pm, activities will include didgeridoo performances; indigenous art workshops for kids; bush tucker tasting; and indigenous cultural talks with traditional tools, storytelling and song.
Aboriginal Elder Uncle Lex will make a Coolamon (wood/bark container), leaving behind a scar tree.
Cumberland libraries have free indigenous craft sessions for primary school pupils. All sessions run from 3.30pm-4.30pm: Monday, May 29 at Guildford Library; Tuesday, May 30 at Wentworthville Library; Wednesday, May 31 at Auburn, Merrylands and Regents Park libraries; Thursday, June 1, at Greystanes and Lidcombe libraries; and Friday, June 2, at Granville Library.
The council joined Darug Aboriginal Elders, community representatives and school leaders to commemorate the first recorded act of reconciliation at Prospect Hill on May 3.
On that day 212 years ago, three Aboriginal women brokered a peace meeting between key Aboriginal leaders and European settlers. The meeting set off a chain of events that brought an end to violence in the Prospect and Parramatta areas.
Council administrator Viv May and McMahon MP Chris Bowen used the occasion to look towards National Reconciliation Week.
“May 3 doesn’t have a place in our national calendar. But it should. What happened here over 200 years ago was a defining moment in Australia’s history,” Mr May said.
“The Aboriginal women offered food to the settlers; men they believed responsible, or at least complicit, in violence against their loved ones. It was a remarkable gesture of reconciliation, peace and sorrow.
“With National Reconciliation Week around the corner, we are challenged by the example of Prospect Hill. As a nation we must follow in the footsteps of those Aboriginal women: always looking for the higher ground; able to envision a future different from our present.”