Reconciliation Week 2021

By Rise
31 May 2021
Rise team member Breanna Jackson-Reid shares her thoughts about Reconciliation Week.

What is your familiar/cultural history and how has this shaped your values, and what kind of experiences did you have growing up in the community?

"I grew up, knowing I was Aboriginal, and until I was 15, made every effort to hide that from people (this was relatively easy to do so, as I am fair). Whilst growing up, I felt incredible shame about who I was, and when the kids at school found out I was Aboriginal, they would make really awful comments about not only me but my family. When I left school at 16, and entered the workforce, it was then that I realised that being Aboriginal was not something I must hide in order to try and make something of myself in this world, and since then I have taken every opportunity to learn more about my culture from my family and elders, celebrate who I am, and respectfully educate those that just simply “do not know”.

What does Reconciliation mean to you, and what actions can both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people take to help Close the Gap?

"Reconciliation to me, is the journey that non Indigenous people must take to understand, but more importantly make change on the vast inequity that Indigenous people face every day. To acknowledge the true history that has taken place over the last 250 years and celebrate the 65,000 year history prior to that. It is no longer having to set targets to measure success for Aboriginal education, employment, incarceration or mortality, and ultimately, having every person in Australia be proud and accepting of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the knowledge and culture we possess and extending the invitation to the table, when decisions are being which directly affect us."

Breanna Jackson-Reid
Executive Coordinator, Corporate

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