City of Newcastle celebrates harmony during Reconciliation Week

City of Newcastle

Novocastrians can add their voices to reconciliation by joining City of Newcastle in a pop-up choir in Museum Park next week to sing the Warumpi Band’s famous anthem, ‘Blackfella/Whitefella’.

The free event on 30 May will run from 12pm to 1pm and be coordinated by local group, The Sum of the Parts, who’ll lead the rehearsal and provide sheet music, as well as a three-piece band.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle is proud to support local events during National Reconciliation Week.

“City of Newcastle has a strong track record of leading the way when it comes to reconciliation, becoming the first Council to raise the Aboriginal Flag over a civic building under the leadership of former Lord Mayor Joy Cummings,” Cr Nelmes said.

“The theme for this year’s Reconciliation Week is Now More Than Ever and it’s a reminder to everyone the fight for justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must continue.”

Councillor Deahnna Richardson, a proud Wiradjuri woman, said events such as the pop-up choir were an ideal way to unite all members of the community in the journey towards reconciliation.

“National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia,” Cr Richardson said.

“Our pop-up-choir at Museum Park is part of a national initiative by Reconciliation Australia, which is encouraging communities across the country to lend their voices to reconciliation.

“Blackfella/Whitefella is a call for all people of all backgrounds and races to come together and stand up for change and we’re proud to be championing that message through this free community event.”

Reconciliation Week activities continue on 1 June with Newcastle Art Gallery and Aboriginal education group Speaking in Colour hosting a community drop-in workshop at The Olive Tree Markets.

Visitors can join a traditional weaving circle to discover Aboriginal methods and the importance of these practices, while also learning about the historical impact of Reconciliation Week on First Nations communities and discuss what needs to be done in the future.

City of Newcastle will also be represented at the University of Newcastle Reconciliation Ball which is being held on 30 May at the Great Hall, providing an opportunity for the community to connect to culture, Country, and each other.

The celebration will feature Minimbah Dancers, installations from the staff and students of the College of Engineering, Science, and Environment, as well as deadly local DJ Baker Boy and food by renowned Gamiliaraay Wonnorua Wailwan chef, Corey Grech.

National Reconciliation Week commemorates two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey, the 1967 referendum for Aboriginal recognition on 27 May and the High Court Mabo decision on 3 June 1992.

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