Walking together

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Students walking in solidarity with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to support National Reconciliation Week31 May 2019

Melbourne’s Catholic schools have walked in solidarity with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to support National Reconciliation Week.

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. The 2019 theme is ‘Grounded in truth, walk together with courage’.

Parade College, Bundoora, hosted its third ‘Road to Reconciliation’, a day of discussion and celebration in the hope of working together for a shared future. The college hosted students and teachers from other Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) schools: St Bernard’s College, Essendon, St Joseph’s College, Newtown, and St Patrick’s College, Ballarat, as well as Mercy College, Coburg, St Pius X School, Heidelberg West, and Santa Maria College, Northcote. In tribute to the legacy created by Michael Long’s ‘Long Walk’ in 2004, students took part in a symbolic recreation of the walk around the college grounds.

Aquinas College, Ringwood, was joined by Nova Peris, representatives from Caritas Australia and Catholic Mission, and students from 16 other schools for its annual Long Walk. Now in its fifth year at the college, the walk draws on Catholic social teaching to speak up against injustice and to build meaningful relationships.

‘We are all Australians, not with 200 years of heritage but with 60,000 years of history’, said Ms Peris. ‘We need to walk together with courage, in solidarity for what is right.’