Happy Hour no°324 – 24th May 2016 – Anita Heiss, Reconciliation Week Australia

Tonight I have chosen an Australian theme.
Every year, the country holds a week-long event called National Reconciliation Week
27 May-3 June
.
It refers to the reconciliation of cultures between the white settlers of European descent who colonized the country in the late 18th century and the original indigenous culture which has been present on the continent for some 40,000 years.
This is a time for non indigenous people to learn something about indigenous culture and celebrate the wealth of this diversity.

As you will hear, the topic of Reconciliation cannot be discussed without touching upon other issues which are very sensitive in Australia right now – such as the debate around the National Holiday, “Australia Day” – which for many, is linked to a dark and violent chapter in the country’s settlement history, now referred to many as Invasion Day, or Survival Day.

To find out more about this week and what it means I spoke to Anita Heiss, from the Wiradjuri people from central NSW, in Australia.

She is the manager for the Epic Good Foundation, a national organisation with headquarters in Brisbane. She is a national lifetime ambassador for the Indigenous Literary foundation and a successful author.
Photo credit : Amanda James

Reconciliation week begins on May 27, a date which marks an important step in modern Australian history : on that day, back in 1967, a referendum was held to officially recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and count them in the national census.

The end of the week also marks a historic date – the 3rd of June referring to the Australian High Court decision in the 1992 Mabo vs Queensland case which recognised the connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to their land, to then establish land rights.

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