Learning Innovation

The Reconciliation Group

In true Avila tradition, the Reconciliation Group was started in 1998 as a student initiative and continues to be been driven by the enthusiasm of students.

Reconciliation

This quote from Lilla Watson continues to guide the group's approach to working for true Reconciliation.

 

If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up in mine, then let us work together.

Lilla Watson, Aboriginal activist

The Reconciliaton Group was established through the passion of students wanting to develop meaningful, enduring relationships with Aboriginal people.

The Reconciliation Group:

  • Works with the Wurundjeri people through the kindness of Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy and Uncle Colin Hunter, Snr
  • Has established strong relationship with the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry
  • Is a member of the ACM's Friends Igniting Reconciliation through Education (FIRE Carrier) Group, and works with the ACM to provide leadership in FIRE Carrier schools and to support the work of the Opening the Doors Foundation in providing access to education for Koorie students 
  • Works to maintain a long-held relationship with the Arrentre people of Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa), outside of Alice Springs. Each year, students from Avila College travel to Ltyentye Apurte on a cultural Immersion trip. This Immersion continues a relationship begun in the 1970s, when students from Ltyentye Apurte studied at Avila
  • Has helped the college to develop a commitment to Reconciliation, which is lived out in Avila's commitment to acknowledging the Land, involvement in the Message Stick program and continued support of NAIDOC Week, Michael Long's "The Long Walk", Close the Gap and Recognise campaigns.

Aims

The aims of the Reconciliation Group include:

  • To recognise and acknowledge the traditional custodians of the Land on which Avila stands 
  • Recognising Australia's First Peoples in the college's curriculum
  • Celebrating Australia's First Peoples in our college liturgies
  • To create a climate of welcome for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at the College 
  • To learn about Aboriginal cultures and spiritualities
  • To foster an understanding of the issues surrounding Reconciliation and of our true history as Australians
  • To raise awareness of Reconcilation in the college community
  • To work with local groups, such as the Monash Reconciliation Group, to raise awareness of Reconciliation in the wider community
  • To support Year 10 students and staff in preparing for the annual Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) Immersion program
  • To raise money for organisations working for Reconciliation, such as the Opening the Doors Foundation, the Akeyulerre Healing Centre in Alice Springs and initiatives of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry.

Santa Teresa Immersion

The Santa Teresa Immersion offers our students the richness and uniqueness of Arrernte Aboriginal culture, artwork, spirituality and language and to celebrate this culture. The Immersion has elements of social justice, with our awareness being raised to the injustices faced by Aboriginal people in Central Australia.

Discover more about the Santa Teresa Immersion.