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Join Reconciliation Queensland on Australia Day 2020 to remember the historic Walks for Reconciliation, twenty years ago.

More than 250,000 people walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 28 May 2000 in a public show of support for reconciliation, sparking what became the largest demonstration for a cause ever held in Australia.

A week later, on 4 June 2000, around 60,000 people crossed the William Jolly Bridge in Brisbane, followed by many similar walks around the country. In Melbourne, as many as 300,000 marched for reconciliation.

Guest Speaker Charmaine Foley

Twenty years ago, Charmaine Foley was the Queensland Coordinator of the Australians for Reconciliation project, a volunteer initiative that had arisen to support the work of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (CAR).

Charmaine Foley

Charmaine Foley [Source: Sunshine Coast Daily]

The CAR had been established through an act of parliament in September 1991 to guide the reconciliation process over the rest of the decade, in the lead up to the anniversary of Federation in 2001.

Charmaine documented her own experiences during this defining period, and those of her contemporaries in the reconciliation movement, as a joint author and editor of the 2001 book A People’s Movement: Reconciliation in Queensland.

She still maintains close links with local reconciliation groups and throughout her life has worked tirelessly to promote reconciliation at a personal, corporate and public level.

Her most recent career experience has been as a consultant cultural heritage specialist to Cultural Heritage Solutions, a community coordinator for Yarrabah Workplace Solutions and as an advisory council member for the ABC.

Previously Charmaine has worked as a native title and cultural heritage manager for several organisations and in the late 1980’s had been elected to Maroochy Shire Council.

Most recently, she completed her Master of History, Public/Applied History in 2018 at the the University of New England.

Guest Speaker Dr Marnee Shay

Dr Marnee Shay is an Aboriginal educator and researcher engaged as a Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland. Her maternal connections are to Wagiman country (Northern Territory), with strong connections to Aboriginal communities in South East Queensland where she was raised.

Dr Marnee Shay

Dr Marnee Shay [Source: The University of Queensland]

Dr Shay’s work focuses on Indigenous peoples across urban, regional and remote communities, particularly in diverse school settings.

She has published in a wide range of journals and books on the topics of alternative schooling, Indigenous education, Indigenous education policy and Indigenous research ethics and methodologies.

Her doctoral research on flexi schools is the only body of research in Australia that focuses explicitly on Indigenous education in flexi schools.

The findings from this research have resulted in school-wide reviews and changes to the way Indigenous education is undertaken, ensuring both suitability and sustainability of programs.

In 2017, Dr Shay was appointed as a consultant with four flexi schools to build the capacity of the educators who are at the frontline of implementing Indigenous education strategies within the school environment.

Within this work, she delivers professional learning to school leaders and educators and support the development of internal policies to incorporate whole of school approaches to Indigenous education.

Australia Day 2020 event details

WHERE: Grange Bowls and Community Club, 79 Sellheim St, Grange, Qld 4051

WHEN: Sunday, 26th January 2020. Registrations from 1.30pm, start time 2.00pm.

FLYER: Click here to download our event flyer

FACEBOOK: Click here to RSVP on Facebook or to share our event.

DISPLAY TABLES: There will be many display tables at the event selling books, jewellery, works of art etc.

PLEASE BRING DONATIONS of stationery such as pencils, felt pens, erasers etc to be sent to remote Queensland schools for distribution.

ENTRY IS FREE but new membership applications and/or donations are always welcome. They help us to cover the costs of running these events.

RSVP: Please email events@rqi.org.au or call Rosalie on 0448 468 618 and advise of any dietary requirements at time of RSVP.

Image credit: Feature image sourced from ‘A People’s Movement: Reconciliation in Queensland’ by Charmaine Foley and Ian Watson (2001), available from Keeaira Press.

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