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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 February 2018) . . Page.. 498 ..


Applications for these grants opened on Monday, 12 February and will close on Monday, 5 March. I encourage all members to spread the word about these grants and encourage community organisations in their electorates and across Canberra to apply.

MS CODY: Minister, what other celebrations are planned along with the grants to acknowledge Reconciliation Day?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Cody for her supplementary question. EventsACT will engage an events coordinator to manage and deliver the Reconciliation Day public holiday event on Monday, 28 May. A Reconciliation Day council will work with EventsACT, the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and the events coordinator to ensure that the event or events on the day are culturally strong and engage as many Canberrans as possible. Members of the council will also be ambassadors for Reconciliation Day, working to encourage widespread community participation.

It is envisaged that the Reconciliation Day public holiday event or events will include, for example, market stalls promoting public and private sector organisations’ reconciliation action plans and local services and programs, as well as the work of artists and craftspeople; entertainment celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and artists who are walking the path of reconciliation with our first Australians; and an opportunity to engage in conversation, or to yarn, about a renewed ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agreement and the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice partnership refresh.

The Community Services Directorate is also engaging with other directorates and non-government organisations to develop a calendar of events in the lead-up to Reconciliation Day. Collaboration and partnership on projects is central to this planning. Early ideas for projects include a reconciliation garden, childcare centre activities, development and launch of reconciliation action plans, and various physical symbols of the territory’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation.

MR STEEL: How will the ACT community benefit from Reconciliation Day celebrations?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Steel for his supplementary question. Madam Speaker, I am sure you are aware that there are a number of national days of significance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural celebration and to mark significant historical events, from NAIDOC Week to Sorry Day. In fact, just last week we marked such a day, on the 10th anniversary of the national apology. The events organised by and for the community to mark that important anniversary were an important demonstration of the healing power that lies in coming together as a community to acknowledge the impact of past policies and to commit to a better future.

Reconciliation Day provides a practical example of a specific ACT government and ACT community commitment to reconciliation. That is why it is so important that the events and activities held in the lead-up to and on Reconciliation Day are inclusive of


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