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    Kerrie Clarke, Nola Illin, both from the Education Department, Jenny Beer, Korri elder. and Pam Clarke at a Reconcilaition Week morning tea at Horsham Rural City Council.

‘Don’t keep history a mystery’

Horsham Rural City residents can celebrate National Reconciliation Week and learn more about the Australian story at a range of events across the municipality.

Wimmera Catchment Management Authority will host a morning tea at its Darlot Street headquarters in Horsham from 10am to 11.30am this morning.

A film festival will be in Federation University’s Wimmera campus auditorium tomorrow from 11.30am.

Horsham Regional Art Gallery is housing an indigenous art exhibition, First Nations Behind the Lens, until July 21.

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The exhibition features a collection of works celebrating some of the most provocative Indigenous photographers in the country.

Horsham Rural City Council kicked off the week’s activities with a morning tea on Monday. 

Mayor Pam Clarke said National Reconciliation Week was an opportunity to gather and celebrate Horsham’s Aboriginal community.

“This year’s theme is ‘don’t keep history a mystery’ and we are encouraging Australians to learn about our Aboriginal history and share that knowledge,” she said.

“Horsham has a strong Indigenous culture and the week itself provides an opportunity to celebrate and strengthen the reconciliation process.”

Cr Clarke said council staff would later this week place new ‘Wotjobaluk Country’ bumper stickers on council vehicles.

The free stickers will be available from tomorrow and can be collected at participating Horsham retailers.

“Council wants to show support and solidarity to Wotjobaluk people by displaying the stickers on our cars permanently,” Cr Clarke said. 

“We want to send a message that council is committed to a process of reconciliation. 

“We are doing this through our Reconciliation Action Plan, which has been developed by our Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group.”

Barengi Gadjin Land Council chairman Dylan Clarke said the council was proud to see a strong and vibrant representation of Wotjobaluk culture within the community.

“Not only does this encourage traditional owners to have pride in their heritage, culture and history, it increases our visibility and presence within the Wimmera landscape,” he said.

He said the BGLC logo was designed by a collective of Elders and represented the cultural significance and connection Wotjobaluk people had to the land and waters the organisation protected and preserved.

“Our history is not a mystery. We were the first group in Victoria to obtain formal recognition by the federal government in 2005 – this was a monumental moment for Aboriginal affairs in Victoria,” he said.

“BGLC encourages the wider community to share open dialogue about the history of the Wimmera and visit our premises at Wail to learn more about Wotjobaluk people, history and culture. We can’t move forward if we don’t heal and reconcile the past – history shouldn’t be a mystery, let’s talk about this.” 

The entire May 30, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!