To mark National Reconciliation Week Griffith University Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff and students have come together to participate in two Walk and Talk events this week.
Hosted by the GUMURRII Student Support Unit, the annual walks at the Gold Coast campus (May 29) and from Mt Gravatt to Nathan campus (May 31), were created in the spirit of reconciliation. Record numbers of students and staff are participating this year.
“This is the eighth 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,” said Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Martin Betts.
“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.”
Every year, National Reconciliation Week is held between two significant milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey history, May 27 and June 3— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision, respectively.
GUMURRII Student Support Unit Director Shane Barnes said the Walk and Talk events also marked National Sorry Day, a national observance held on May 26 each year.
“National Sorry Day remembers the Stolen Generations, Indigenous Australians forcibly removed from their families and communities, and promotes a process of recognition, respect and healing,’’ he said.
“GUMURRII is honoured to host the Walk and Talks each year in a spirit of reconciliation and healing.”
This year is the 11th anniversary of the launch of Griffith’s Statement on Reconciliation—a public declaration of the university’s commitment to promoting an environment valuing the traditions, protocols and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.