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National Reconciliation Week 2020 – In This Together

We, The Gordon, acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging who have taught their children and adults on this land.

                 Image of Billy-Jay O’Toole artist

As National Reconciliation Week (May 27-June 3) commences, we are reminded of the defining moments in Australian history that support meaningful reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. We are also driven to further strengthen the relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.
At The Gordon, we continue our journey towards reconciliation as we actively work to establish and maintain a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). We are proud to be developing our first RAP, launching in 2020. The plan will reaffirm our commitment to working with the wisdom of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their culture, spirituality and history.  
Forming a road map forward as we strive for reconciliation, our RAP includes the display of Billy-Jay O’Toole’s Indigenous artwork at our campuses.
Billy is a proud Wadawurrung boy who resides in Mount Duneed. Working as a cultural heritage representative with Wadawurrung, and holding a joint role with the Wadawurrung and Great Ocean Road Coastal Committee, who manage the cultural heritage sites on Wadawurrung country, Billy actively seeks to discover more of his history, learning the stories of the old people through the artefacts found. In his spare time, Billy is an artist.
The artwork depicted is a creation of Billy’s and tells the story of a special place on Wadawurrung country, Point Impossible. Residing at The Gordon’s City campus, the RAP artwork articulates blue coastal waters, including Thomsons Creek, which enters the mouth of Point Impossible. The gathering symbols at the base represent people hunting and coming together to prepare and share a meal. The bright red sunset, commonly seen at Torquay, is flanked by two birds; Bunjil (also known as Bundjil) the eagle and WAA the crow. The eucalyptus leaves represent healing and cleansing, which occurs most days as the traditional owners of country conduct smoking ceremonies. The mountains represent the picturesque You Yangs, a special place for Wadawurrung people.
The Gordon is proud to share and celebrate one of the richest and oldest continuing cultures in the world.

Photo: Reconciliation Action Plan Artwork and artist Billy-Jay O’Toole taken at the Geelong City Campus.