Reconciliation Bridge Walk Inspires Next Generation
The Bridge Walk on Friday, 15 July was a monumental display of support for reconciliation by the Bass Coast community.
The event saw well over 1,000 people line the bridge from one side to another as they walked from San Remo to Millowl (Phillip Island) to show their support for a reconciled community.
The walk for reconciliation celebrated First Nations culture, starting with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony by Aunty Sonia Weston-Hume and her son Daniel from the Bunurong Land Council before participants made their way across the iconic Island bridge with their flags and messages of support.
The walk was led by Traditional Owners and members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, followed by hundreds of school children and allies.
Following the walk, participants heard from Traditional Owners, local councillors and individuals who reflected on their reconciliation journey and shared stories of accomplishment and achievement.
The Bass Coast Reconciliation Network provides much needed support to make these events possible and is made up of members from Bass Coast Shire Council, Bass Coast Health, Westernport Water, Phillip Island Nature Parks, Bunurong Land Council, Bass Coast South Gippsland Reconciliation Group and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community members.
Quotes attributed to Patrice Mahoney, Bass Coast Shire Council
“The Bridge Walk was postponed on two occasions over the past two years, so I’m delighted it was able to go ahead today.”
“We asked the community to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! and they did in large numbers., it was so heart-warming.”
“NAIDOC and Reconciliation weeks are an important time and provide opportunities for people to reflect, learn and listen to stories, celebrate culture, and individual achievements. In doing so, show their support for reconciliation.”
Quotes attributed to Bunurong Elder Uncle Anthony Egan
“Truthful education of our shared histories and integration of Aboriginal history into curriculum is essential to create a brighter future for all.”
“Reconciliation is so important, and it means so much to me to see so many kids here today learning about reconciliation.”
Quotes attributed to Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan, Bass Coast Shire Council
“We’re all committed to the ongoing development and progress of reconciliation, strengthening relationships and community spirit by working with and supporting First Nations people.”
“The walk is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and achievements and provided an opportunity for the community to come together in solidarity and show their support.”
Further information: www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/reconciliation