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Galambany Gathering marks 2024 Reconciliation Week celebrations at UC

Mike Verzosa

30 May 2024: To celebrate National Reconciliation Week, the University of Canberra hosted a Galambany Gathering at the Bruce campus, providing the University community an opportunity to come together and reflect on the importance of Reconciliation in Australia.

“National Reconciliation Week is a time for all of us to learn about our shared histories, cultures, achievements, and to explore how we can contribute to Reconciliation in this country,” said Jonathan Pheasant, Chief Operating Officer and Vice-President of Operations at the University.

“This year’s theme is ‘Now more than ever’ and it’s a great reminder to all of us that no matter what, the fight for justice and the rights of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will and must continue.”

The event featured a morning tea spread made using native ingredients, and a native ingredient tasting and display table prepared by UCx.

Native ingredient display

2023 UC Reconciliation Award winner – awarded to University staff who demonstrate strong initiatives which strengthen and advance Reconciliation at the University – Sally Quattro, Manager of the Faculty of Health Clinics and Sarah Jennett, CEO of UCx, also addressed the community during the gathering, sharing what they have done within their areas to advance Reconciliation.

“In the clinics, we have tried to demonstrate through action that we are committed to Reconciliation with Australia's First Nations people. A mural designed by renowned Indigenous artist Eddie Longford brings colour and vibrance to the entry foyer, and signifies our welcome statement of appreciation for Indigenous people and their culture,” said Ms Quattro.

“Our partnership with Indigenous Allied Health Australia has given us the opportunity to partner with them to train allied health assistants and make a difference in the lives of these young people. As part of this, clinic staff have also completed three levels of Indigenous cultural responsiveness training, which was really valuable.”

Sarah Jennett

Ms Jennett, whose UCx team was also a 2023 Reconciliation Award winner, shared that they have approached Reconciliation and Indigenous awareness through various student and staff initiatives, such as UC Sport partnering with the Ngunnawal Centre to send a team of students to the 2023 Indigenous Nationals, creating NAIDOC Market Week in Semester Two of 2023, highlighting and using native ingredients for morning tea spreads, and sharing Indigenous history during team gatherings.

“I feel like part of what will help us with Reconciliation is to really grow our knowledge and understanding of our Indigenous brothers and sisters,” said Ms Jennett.

“We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and we acknowledge that as custodians, they’ve taken care of this land for over 65,000 years – but there’s so much more to learn and understand. And the more we do, the more we can reconnect and reconcile.”

The event also featured representatives from the Student Wellbeing and Support team, who were on hand with activities to help stimulate conversations about Indigenous culture and the importance of Reconciliation.