Deadly Questions for Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week takes place from 27 May to 3 June. This year’s theme is ‘Grounded in Truth: Walk Together with Courage’, where Australians are encouraged to have bold, honest conversations about the truth of their histories.
You can find out more about this year’s theme by watching their campaign video.
Why is Reconciliation Week important?
As detailed by Reconciliation Australia, National Reconciliation Week is a time to learn more about the histories, cultures, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.
It is an opportunity to focus on strengthening relationships of care and respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.
Australia’s colonial history is characterised by devastating land dispossession, violence, and racism against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. While significant steps towards reconciling this history have taken place through generations of Australians fighting hard for meaningful change, future gains are likely to take just as much, if not more, effort.
Reconciliation is a vision for a just and equitable Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have the same life chances and choices as non-Indigenous Australians and where remembrance and reparations for past historical wrongs have been achieved.
What the library is doing to highlight Reconciliation Week?
At Waterfront Library, our five-screen display showcase features the Victorian Government’s Deadly Questions website, which allows visitors to ask Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people questions and receive detailed answers from their perspective.
Through a blend of visually dynamic photography, text and video, you can learn more about Indigenous perspectives on a range of questions, including:
- What does a Treaty mean to you?
- What makes you proud of your culture?
- Is it rude to ask someone if they’re Aboriginal?
- Do you have to have dark skin to be Aboriginal?
- What is the best way for First People to practice self-determination?
As explained on the Deadly Questions website:
‘Deadly Questions is an opportunity to learn about Aboriginal Victorians – their histories, cultures, connection to place and hopes for the future.
Many people have never engaged with these questions. Maybe it’s embarrassing to admit this, so it’s easier to hold back on asking. Some people fear offending or simply have no-one to ask.
Deadly Questions is a chance to begin the conversation.
The campaign has been developed as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to self-determination and Treaty.’
– Victoria Department of Premier and Cabinet, deadlyquestions.vic.gov.au
How can you get involved and learn more?
If you’re based at Waterfront, visit your library to use the interactive display screens any time this week. Otherwise, you can engage with and learn more about Deadly Questions by visiting their website at www.deadlyquestions.vic.gov.au/explore.
Yin Paradies, Coordinator Indigenous Knowledges and Culture, Deakin University
Amy Clarke, Communications and Engagement Coordinator, Deakin University Library