Five Inspiring First Nations Peoples On What National Reconciliation Week Means To Them

Be Brave. Make Change.

National Reconciliation Week is a sacred period of the Australian calendar, where we honour our shared history and culture while considering how each and every one of us can contribute to a better nation, together. 

Taking place from the 27th May – 3rd June, these dates carry historical significance as they pay tribute to two major milestones — the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision. 

The theme of 2022 is Be Brave. Make Change. which asks each of us to make a personal contribution to our shared reconciliation journey. It’s about incorporating ideas of inclusivity and respect into our everyday lives, to make Australia a wonderful place for everyone. 

Part of making this change is a commitment to championing and elevating the inspiring voices of First Nations People. Below, we speak to five creators – from models to authors and founders – to discover what Reconciliation Week means to them and what their hopes are for the future of Australia. 

Author and Spiritual Coach, Allira Potter


What does Reconciliation Week mean to you?

Reconciliation for me is such a time for reflection.

It’s a week where I want non-Indigenous people to understand that reconciliation should be all year round.

First nations issues should be spoken about all the time, Blak excellence should be celebrated 365 days of the year and so forth it shouldnt just be this once a week thing.

I do however believe that it is a week where conversations are happening but a reminder that they need to happen all the time.

What are you hopeful for in 2022?

I am hopeful that the conversation will continue especially by the younger generations that are so passionate about culture.

I am hopeful that we will see more change even though we do have a long way to go.

Instagram: @allira.potter

Model, Lisa Fatnowna


What does Reconciliation Week mean to you?

Reconciliation week is the week where all Australia’s (Indigenous and non-indigenous) people come together to create a plan to achieve reconciliation for our people. To me, it is ‘closing the gap’ of diversity and inequality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-indigenous Australians. 

It means to show commitment from non-indigenous Australians to wanting to learn and understand indigenous culture and struggles. I’d love to see organisations committing to their RAP (reconciliation action plan) where indigenous people are safe in the industries  environment and if organisations haven’t already so, I’d highly recommend them to start thinking and creating their plan if hiring, currently have or taking on indigenous people. 

So my question remains, has your organisation created their RAP? If so, action your commitments rather then just talking about it and show those results. 

How do you feel about the Uluru Statement from the Heart finally being acted upon?

My feelings about the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’ will definitely be that actions speak louder then works. It has taken 30+ years for Uluru to officially be handed back to the Traditional Owners but only 3 years since the climb has become illegal. Until it is finalised, then I’ll start to believe that there’s people out there that are willing to walk with us or join us at our yarning circle.

What are you hopeful for in 2022?

For 2022, I can see change already within parliament. Finally we as a nation are moving forward and we are being seen and our voices are being heard. 

This year is very significant to indigenous people  as it marks the 30th anniversary of Eddie Mabo on the 3rd of June for standing up for his land rights. I hope for more significant changes within the fashion industry this is just as impactful as the Mabo case and the Uluru Statement. 

Recognition is great but this is just the beginning. I am hoping that we become accepted through our culture and language groups instead of just being a box people can tick. I highly believe that together we can continue creating change.

Instagram: @lisa.fatnowna

Haus of Dizzy Founder, Kristy Dickinson


What does Reconciliation Week mean to you? 

Reconciliation week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements. 

Reconciliation must live in our hearts, minds and actions not only during Reconciliation week but every day of every week. 

The theme this year is ‘Be Brave, Make Change’, this should be the motto to live every single day by. 

How do you feel about the Uluru Statement from the Heart finally being acted upon?

I feel hopeful, it’s been 5 years since the statement was issued and it’s been pushed aside ever since. 

We need our voices heard! 

All we are asking is to be consulted on issues that affect our lives and give our advice and share our knowledge with ways to help our people.

What are you hopeful for in 2022?

I am hopeful that ‘the referendum for a voice for our first nation people’, passes. 

Instagram: @hausofdizzy

La Terre Press Founder, Michelle Jackson

Personally, I’ve always found the term Reconciliation a strange one to use. It implies to me that something that was once in balance, is now out of balance and this couldn’t be further from the truth. It doesn’t sit well with me in this context and is just another reminder to me, that there is still so much of a gap and divide. 

Instagram: shelljax

Model, Mason Ping


What does Reconciliation Week mean to you? 

For me, reconciliation week is all about sharing and learning. I think it’s incredible that we have this week dedicated to the celebration and sharing of our cultures with wider Australia, although I love seeing that happen all year round. 

Our country has a devastating history for our people but year by year we collectively make more progress towards reconciliation which I think is really beautiful. 

How do you feel about the Uluru Statement from the Heart finally being acted upon?

I am so happy to see this being addressed.. having First Nations voices being heard in decision making is so overdue but it is a huge win nonetheless!! I am really excited and optimistic to see the words turn into action

What are you hopeful for in 2022?

I am hopeful for all positive changes and progress in 2022. I can’t wait to see more representation across the board. There is nothing better than seeing amazing First Nations people in powerful positions getting the recognition they deserve – and I want to see more of this in the future! 

Instagram: masonping

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