Emmanuel College has ‘made change’ in Reconciliation Week by officially launching our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) on Friday 27 May. Endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, our Reflect RAP recognises and acknowledges Australia’s First Peoples and demonstrates our journey to continue to build inclusive and sustainable relationships which are mutually beneficial.
We are very proud as the first residential College at The University of Queensland to deliver this plan, as we undertake to define our vision for reconciliation over the next 12 months (2022 – 2023) and lay the foundations within the College to advance reconciliation.
As a first step in this process, Emmanuel College will be reflecting on our own organisational practices, while engaging our students in broader consultation, building unity and respect between First Nations peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, in our drive to learn and change.
Our launch on the 27 May, the first day of National Reconciliation Week, saw our guests and students witness a traditional cultural performance by the Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dance Company, with singing and dancing depicting dreamtime stories, hunting and gathering. A solo digeridoo piece echoed throughout out quad, before guest speaker Dr Jessa Rogers, a proud Wiradjuri woman and Indigenous educator, spoke of the importance of building strong relationships to make change in the reconciliation space, and displaying the bravery required to reset the way Indigenous relations are maintained.
To bring our RAP to life and help tell the story of our reconciliation journey, we engaged alumnus Lucas Schober, a proud Wuthathi, Yadhaigana, Kaurareg and Yindjibarndi First Nations man and artist from Larrakia Country (Darwin). The artwork, unveiled at the launch, depicts first-hand experiences of Lucas and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collegians on their tertiary educational journey. We are thrilled to be the recipients of this artwork and will treasure it for years to come as a reminder of where we have come from.
The launch of this RAP makes us proud to be who we are and we thank everyone who has worked to bring this together and the many people who will continue to form and nurture important relationships in the years to come.