Rikeesha joined National Reconciliation Week celebrations
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
As people gathered around Australia to mark National Reconciliation Week, Rikeesha and her family came together along with members of the community and school children to celebrate the day at Lake Gwelup Reserve in Stirling.
Her father, Len Yarran, was one of the coordinators of the event. He spoke to the gathering about the importance of recognition of the past, acceptance and family.
As part of the ceremony, Aboriginal Elders performed a traditional smoking ceremony and Rikeesha’s grandmother shared a poem in Noongar language.
There were lots of fun activities such as sand art, hand and face painting, and wonderful music which Rikeesha really enjoyed.
“Rikeesha absolutely loved the day,” said Rikeesha’s mum, Penni.
“She loves being with her family and being out and about in her community.”
Included in the celebrations was a Reconciliation Walk around the oval with many members of the community and school students participating. There was also traditional dances performed which included a number of Rikeesha’s cousins.
Ensuring that Rikeesha, who lives in an Identitywa home in the northern suburbs, has the chance to regularly connect with her family and community is a priority for her family.
Along with her Identitywa support worker, Rikeesha travels each week to the Wadjak Northside Community Centre where she spends time catching up with family and friends whilst creating her art as part of the Moorditj Yarning Program which is coordinated by not-for-profit agency, Relationships Australia.
“Rikeesha loves being part of the program,” says her mum, Penni. “She thinks it’s ‘Moorditji’ which means solid – good.”
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