By all accounts, this has been a busy and productive year for Reconciliation Queensland Incorporated (RQI). The report by our Co-Chairs, Peter Jackson and Aunty Heather Castledine, presented at the AGM 2018 on Saturday October 6th at Arana Leagues Club, was evidence of just how busy we were and is reproduced below for the information of members.

AGM 2018 Co-Chairs’ report

The past year has been very challenging and at the same time very interesting with the RQI Management Committee having to be very responsive and flexible in the decision making process to ensure that Reconciliation in Queensland continues to advance in a positive way.

At last year’s AGM the Hon Mark Furner MP, then Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, announced the State Government’s decision to fund Reconciliation Queensland Inc. with $100,000 per year for the next three years.

By the time the formal Service Agreement between DATSIP and RQI agreeing to undertake a range of activities needed to expand, develop and support Reconciliation in Queensland and the Queensland Government’s Reconciliation Action Plan 2018-2021 was finalised, 2018 was already upon us.

Although the increase in funding is very welcome it has also meant a corresponding increase in Reconciliation activities throughout Queensland.

AGM 2017

PHOTO: Turrbal Elder Uncle Joe Kirk delivers a Welcome to Country at RQI’s 2017 AGM [Credit: Simon Brooks].

26th January 2018
Reconciliation Queensland’s Australia Day event was titled Lets Talk about Homelessness and was hosted by Senator Andrew Bartlett at the Arana Leagues Club in Brisbane. It was a Q&A-style panel discussion with an audience of around 180 participants. Entertainment was also provided by Aunty Ruth Ghee and the Hummingbird Collective, as well as the Songlines Community Choir.


PHOTO: Homelessness was the focus of RQI’s Australia Day / Survival Day panel discussion on 26 January 2018 at Arana Leagues Club, Brisbane [Credit: Simon Brooks].

24th March 2018
Reconciliation Queensland invited the Indigenous Literacy Foundation Board Member Glen Miller, to speak to an audience at the Mitchelton Library in Brisbane about the work of the Foundation in Queensland.

Indigenous Literacy Foundation

PHOTO: Indigenous Literacy Foundation Board Member Glen Miller presented at RQI’s general meeting on 24 March 2018 at Mitchelton Library [Credit: Simon Brooks].

16th April 2018
As part of the 2018 Yarnin Together Reconciliation Series, Reconciliation Queensland conducted a Forum in Cairns. The series included a Q&A-style panel discussion on the topic “What does Reconciliation mean to You?”

AGM 2018

PHOTO: Member for Mulgrave and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Curtis Pitt addresses the Yarnin Together Forum on 16 April 2018 in Cairns [Credit: Facebook Live].

17th April 2018
The 2018 Yarnin’ Together Reconciliation Q&A-style panel discussion was also conducted in Townsville.

AGM 2018

PHOTO: Residents attending the Yarnin Together forum on 17 April 2018 in Townsville [Credit: Facebook Live].

18th April 2018
The Forum including a Q&A-style panel discussion was held in Mackay.

AGM 2018

PHOTO: Assistant Minister for State Development and State Member for Mackay Juliann Gilbert speaks at the Yarnin Together forum on 18 April 2018 in Mackay [Credit: Facebook Live].

2nd May 2018
As part of the ongoing 2018 Yarnin’ Together Reconciliation Series, Reconciliation Queensland conducted a Forum in Brisbane. 20th May 2018 Cherbourg Ration Shed Museum’s Reconciliation Fun Run which was initiated 5 years ago by the people of Cherbourg, held it’s annual event and welcomed people of the South Burnett and beyond to run (or walk) 10, 7 or 3kms in the name of friendship, in the name of hope and in the name of new possibilities.

This year the RQI Management Committee partnered with the P&C at Mabel Park State High School in Logan to support a large student cohort from the school to participate in the 2018 Reconciliation Fun Run.

Mabel Park State High School was the winner of the 2018 Premier’s Award for Reconciliation.

AGM 2018

PHOTO: Torres Strait Islander Elder Uncle Bill Lowah rouses the crowd at the Yarnin’ Together Reconciliation Forum at the Brisbane campus of CQ University in May 2018 [Credit: Simon Brooks].

27th May 2018
Reconciliation Queensland in partnership with the Queensland Multicultural Council celebrated National Reconciliation Week in Logan Central. There was an informative discussion around the NRW 2018 them, followed by presentations about Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander culture and the shared history of the early settlers such as the Chinese, Indian and the cameleers from Afghanistan. Some of these people married aboriginal women and had children to them and many of the children were marginalised from both parent’s cultures. This aspect of Australia’s recent and much hidden history was also discussed.

AGM 2018

PHOTO: RQI Co-Chairs Peter Jackson and Aunty Heather Castledine (front row, right) celebrate multiculturalism at Mabel Park State High School in May 2018 [Credit: Facebook].

27th May 2018
Reconciliation Queensland supported the Balaangala Community Group in celebrating their 10th Anniversary during NRW 2018 by holding a ‘yarning circle’ and inviting 3 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people to be guest speakers and to facilitate the yarn. Over 80 residents from The Gap were in attendance.

30th May 2018
Reconciliation Queensland acting Co Chair (Indigenous) Uncle Bill Buchanan attended the Queensland Reconciliation Awards ceremony in Cairns. The Queensland Reconciliation Awards program recognises businesses, community organisations, educational institutions and partnerships that are taking positive steps towards reconciliation across Queensland.

AGM 2018

PHOTO: Traditional dancer performing at the 2018 Queensland Reconciliation Awards in Cairns [Credit: @jackietrad, Twitter]

1st June 2018
Reconciliation Queensland supported the Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Coastal Walk This annual event was followed by a community barbecue and guest speakers 01st June 2018 Reconciliation Queensland partnered with Life Without Barriers and Cairns Regional Council at a NRW event held at Council’s Civic Reception Room and provided a Guest Speaker who spoke about the importance of the role reconciliation has in our community.

AGM 2018

PHOTO: The Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Group held its annual coastal walk on 1 June 2018 at Fraser Park, Golden Beach [Credit: SCRG, Facebook].

16th June 2018
Reconciliation Queensland conducted the ‘Defying Boundaries’ – Boundary to Boundary Street Reconciliation Walk. This RQI annual event comprises a Yarning Circle for community members and Elders which lead off a conversation around the Boundary Street Aboriginal curfew system in Brisbane. Over 100 participants then walked between two of the streets that comprised the Boundary Street system (Boundary Street, Spring Hill and Boundary Street, South Brisbane).

Boundary Street

PHOTO: Brisbane’s colonial history was remembered on Saturday, 16 June 2018 when Aboriginal Elders and reconciliation supporters completed the Boundary to Boundary Street Walk [Credit: Simon Brooks].

Activities conducted in the Logan and Ipswich Region:

Aunty Heather Castledine and other members of Reconciliation Queensland have continued to maintain a formidable pace in promoting Reconciliation throughout the Logan Region including:

  • Yarnin with our Mob sessions at Logan central Library throughout the year
  • Elders Yarnin Circle at Springwood • Pathways Cultural Training
  • NAIDOC Awards • Big Super Day at Musgrave Park
  • Seniors Week Events at Jymbelungra Eagleby and Inala Elders
  • Sharing the Future Morning Tea in Logan
  • World First Nations Knowledge Conference at Kupidabin
  • PASIFIKA Festival at Goonda • Candle Lighting Ceremony at ACCESS
  • ICPCG (Indigenous Community Police Consultant Group meetings throughout the year
  • Nyeumba Meta Meetings at Logan Central Library bi-monthly
  • Community Leaders Forum at ACCESS
  • Muslim Women’s Conference at Stockleigh Mosque
  • Reconciliation Queensland Inc Australia Day Event
  • Working on The PAWS and WOW Gatherings(Purple Amazon Women’s Society and Women of the World)
  • Apology Breakfast with QMC (QLD Multicultural Council)
  • Honouring the 10th Anniversary of the Apology at Kingston Butter factory
  • Stamp Club Day in Logan
  • Ambassador of Peace Meetings
  • Community Barbecue at PCYC at Crestmead
  • Anzac Day Ceremonies across Logan
  • Logan Summit at LEC
  • Cultural Healing Circle at Richlands
  • Launch of NRW at ACCESS in Logan
  • Bait-ul-Masroor Mosque Fasting Ceremony at Stockleigh
  • Bush Tucker Talk at Logan Central Library
  • Songs of Peace 2018
  • NAIDOC Events across Logan and Inala
  • Police Flag raising Ceremony in Logan

The past year has continued to be a successful one in terms of networking and corresponding with Local Reconciliation Groups and many individuals located in regional areas throughout Queensland.

We once again thank the RQI Treasurer Simon Brooks, who is also responsible for RQI’s communications, for his tireless efforts in promoting Reconciliation throughout the State.

The RQI membership is expanding with new applications from Organisation, Corporate Members and Individual Members being approved on a regular basis.

The task of sustaining our National diversity and moving forward beyond the divide always remains one of RQI’s primary objectives.

To download the Co-Chairs’ report tabled at RQI’s AGM 2018, click here.