Six Classroom Activities for Reconciliation Week

This year's theme for National Reconciliation Week is 'Now More Than Ever', inviting us to connect and keep engaging in the work that's needed for reconciliation. It's a week inviting all Australians to learn about the cultures and history of Country and the custodians that have taken care of it for millennia. Here are six National Reconciliation Week activities for the classroom from our library of learning resources.

  1. Read Aunty Theresa Sainty's poem 'Ningimpi Nungampi Paywuta Manta'. Then Watch The Land Owns Us by Uncle Bob Randall from Yankunytjatjara mob. Uncle talks about an important belief in Aboriginal culture and spirituality - how the land is a significant part of connection; this relates directly to the concepts of knowing, being and doing. How does Aunty Theresa talk about this in her poem? Where is this concept touched upon in her words?
  2. Read Charmaine Papertalk Green and Anna Naupa's collaborative poem 'The Colour of Connection' and Charmaine's reflection. Then choose a friend with whom to read the poem out loud, each of you taking one poet's voice. Then write a call and response poem from you to the First People of this land or the land herself.
  3. Read Kirli Saunders' poem 'Disconnection', and think about what 'Culture' means to you. A strong sense of identity, belonging, and connection to culture helps us become confident and resilient individuals. Describe some of your family or community cultural practices.
  4. Listen to Ali Cobby Eckermann's reading of 'Unearthed' in her HSC resource. Who do you think the poem is addressed to? What can you learn from it, and how? Then listen to the interview with Ali to see how she answers the question.
  5. Read Red Room Poetry's Truth and Reconciliation Pledge. Think about what the 2024 theme 'Now More Than Ever' means. Reconciliation Australia says that "Now more than ever, the work continues." What does this work look like? Write a pledge together in the classroom that reflects this theme.
  6. As a class, look at the National Reconciliation Week Calendar and find an event to attend as a group from school or with your families.

Remember that to write respectfully, it's important to connect with your local Aboriginal community, ask for permission, and acknowledge Language words and cultural concepts and who taught them to you. You can read more about this in Kirli Saunder's guide to writing respectfully.

Want more activities? Download our curriculum-aligned learning resources and activities below.

NAIDOC Learning Resource
Power Through Poetry
POEM FOREST Learning Resource