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Community

11 May, 2021

Time for Reconciliation in Douglas

LOCAL FIRST Nations community and local dignitaries will come together for an official breakfast when the most significant National Reconciliation Week (NRW) program in Douglas Shire’s history gets underway later this month.


Indigenous Events Committee members Margaret Ross-Kelly, Saisha Burchill-Schonenberger, Kirsty Burchill, and Allira Alveon.

Douglas Shire Council has worked with the Douglas Indigenous Events Committee, Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Organisation, Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Aboriginal Corporation and Mossman Gorge Centre to deliver a full and engaging program starting from Thursday 27 May 2021.

 Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort & Spa will host the inaugural NRW Breakfast as part of a 7-day program which features community-wide events and activities.

 NRW is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements and to explore how each of us contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

 The 2021 NRW theme is “More Than Just A Word – Reconciliation Takes Action”.

Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the program would help celebrate the significance of reconciliation.

 “The Indigenous Events Committee have done a wonderful job creating such a special program of community-wide events to celebrate National Reconciliation Week in our Shire, and we thank all the local businesses who have helped sponsor and support the week,” said Mayor Kerr.

 “Reconciliation is about moving forward with meaningful attitudes and actions. It’s about developing an enduring and deep respect between wider Australians and our First Nations people.”

 “We acknowledge our Traditional Owners as the original custodians of the land, and we continue to acknowledge the mistakes of the past and dedicate ourselves to an honest and open reconciliation.”

 “Let’s come out in force and unite for this fun, special, inclusive and very important week.”

Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation CEO, Kupa Teao, Indigenous Events Committee member, Kirsty Burchill, Mayor Michael Kerr, Mossman Gorge Centre Acting GM, Rachael Hodges, Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort & Spa GM, Christopher Northam

 Key events include the official flag-raising ceremony in Mossman, a community colour fun-run on the waterfront in Port Douglas, colourful sea of hands art installations in Mossman and Port Douglas, children’s playtimes, and a netball fast fives competition at the Port Douglas Sports Complex.

 National Reconciliation Week takes place between May 27 and June 2 each year. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

The Sea Temple Resort & Spa in Port Douglas is the key sponsor for the inaugural Official Breakfast on May 31.

 General & Area Manager for Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort, Christopher Northam, said the company was proud to be a part of such a significant program.

“We are delighted to support National Reconciliation Week in the Douglas Shire and host the Official Breakfast,” he said.

 “The Accor Group is proud to lead the way with an extensive Indigenous Engagement Program that supports employment, career development, cultural impact and procurement, as well as initiatives to drive engagement and awareness of our rich Indigenous Culture right around the country.

 “We are excited about being involved in this year’s National Reconciliation Week plans – it’s great to see events taking place in Port Douglas for 2021, and we are thrilled to be a part of this significant week.”

 Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation CEO, Kupa Teao said the week represents a significant opportunity for our Indigenous and non Indigenous community to come together.

 “The week of events for National Reconciliation Week creates a wonderful opportunity to showcase our unique First Nations cultures and promote unity and community partnerships,” he said.

 “National Reconciliation Week gives us an opportunity to truly embrace our First Nations people and the history that makes up the large part of this country, and it’s very important for our Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities understand this history.”

 “Looking at the program for Douglas Shire, I feel like a young kid again. There’s a number of amazing activities planned, many of which are catered to young families and the wider community, encouraging everyone to participate and come together.”

Indigenous Events Committee member for Douglas Shire, Kirsty Burchill, said Reconciliation Week is more important than it has ever been.

 “It is a time to celebrate the importance of culture for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and move forward by sharing and reconciling our past – living for our present and working towards our future- together,” she said.


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