Community walks for reconciliation

The Walk and Talk event attracted many Griffith community members.

A sea of orange hats brightened the bushland setting as more than 60 staff, students and community members took part in the annual Walk and Talk event from Mt Gravatt to Nathan campus on May 27.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Martin Betts said the Walk and Talk events, organised by the GUMURRII Student Support Unit, were created in the spirit of Reconciliation Week (May 27 to June 3).

“This is the fourth year the University has held the Walk and Talk and the aim is to encourage the entire University community to think about ways we can foster better cross-cultural understanding and respect,’’ he said.

“The Walk and Talk is a key event on the University calendar both at Nathan and the Gold Coast. We are a proud supporter and welcome the dialogue it creates.”

The University’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was launched in 2012, and encapsulates goals across three broad themes – Relationships, Respect, and Opportunities.

“The University has committed to clear targets to improve the participation and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in academic and general staff positions,’’ Professor Betts said.

Walk and Talk6

GUMURRII Student Support Unit Office Manager Shane Barnes said the event, in acknowledgement of National Sorry Day, enabled the community to come together in the spirit of reconciliation.

“It raises awareness of two significant events in the reconciliation journey — the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision handed down in 1992.”

National Sorry Day is an Australia-wide observance held on May 26 each year. It gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities.

The Gold Coast Walk and Talk event will take place on 3 June.

Anyone wanting to take part is requested to register either by email to j.elvin@griffith.edu.au or phone 07 373 55095 or 07 373 57676.