The department commemorates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander days of significance each year to recognise and learn about our nation’s history, cultures and reconciliation journey.
During National Reconciliation Week 2015, the department hosted a range of events across all its offices. In National Office, two specialist cultural learning workshops proved very popular with our people. The Women’s Cultural Learning Experience provided an opportunity for 45 female staff to participate in cultural learnings on women’s roles and responsibility in community, while also learning about the materials and skills required for basket weaving. The Men’s Cultural Learning Experience provided an opportunity for 36 male staff to participate in cultural learnings on men’s business, men’s roles and responsibilities, respecting women, raising children, lore, being on country and hunting. The men also had lessons in playing the didgeridoo as well as painting didgeridoos, adding to the department’s collection of artwork.
The Focus on Language panel discussion was also well received, with 85 employees present for the live panel discussion that was streamed to all our staff across Australia. Equally popular was the Language workshop held by the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). The workshop provided an opportunity for participants to meet AIATSIS researchers and staff who discussed the variety of Australian Aboriginal languages and their sound systems and orthographies.