Last week I attended a 2 day forum on Anglican Schooling in Australia where I was fortunate to sit around the table with Archbishops, Bishops, School Principals and Chaplains from around the country, discussing the role of faith, reason, pluralism, service and character development within Anglican Schools today. The importance of dialogue and encouragement to wrestle with big questions was celebrated as central to the Anglican tradition and I was proud to reflect on the inclusive, open and intentional ways in which we foster spiritual development within our proud Anglican context at Lowther Hall.
Next week, starting with Senior School Assembly, the Social Justice Committee will be encouraging the Lowther Hall Community to connect with Reconciliation Week as we seek to promote understanding of Australia’s first people through our curriculum, text study, trips, rituals and symbolism – not just this week, but throughout the year. Each year National Reconciliation Week celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. The dates that bookend the week are significant milestones in the reconciliation journey.
May 27 - Marks the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and a defining event in our nation’s history. The 1967 referendum saw over 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise them in the national census.
3 June - Commemorates the High Court of Australia’s landmark Mabo decision in 1992, which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship to the land - a relationship that existed prior to colonalisation and still exists today. This recognition paved the way for land rights or Native Title.
I encourage all members of our School Community to take the time next week to reflect on the importance of these occasions and to consider the work still to be done to create complete reconciliation in our country.