One of the key strategic initiatives of Brisbane Catholic Education's Diversity and Inclusion Strategy is for BCE to continue the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reconciliation Journey by developing and implementing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). BCE recognises the importance of listening to the voices of our First Nations People and working towards reconciliation.
Reconciliation Australia has identified five dimensions of reconciliation: Unity, Race Relations, Equality and Equity, Institutional Integrity and Historical Acceptance.
The creation of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) can contribute to advancing the five dimensions of reconciliation within an organisation by encouraging the development of respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Brisbane Catholic Education Reconciliation Action Plan
This artwork is more than just a painting, it has a story. Central to the artwork is a large cross; symbolic of the heartbeat of Brisbane Catholic Education’s vision, mission and identity as a Catholic Christian faith community manifested through the life, mission and gospel stories of Jesus.
In the centre of the cross is a large circular layered design representative of Brisbane Catholic Education’s staff to include our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters. Staff members gathering together to share perspectives, learn and develop effective ways and means of bringing systemic collective action to life on our journey towards authentic reconciliation.
Extending from the centre circle to the outer arms of the cross are numerous message sticks carrying guidelines, resources and action plans to encourage and support staff, students, offices and whole school communities in ways to genuinely recognise and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, perspectives, histories and cultures.
Radiating out from the cross are multiple journeylines leading to six large layered circles. Each circle representing Brisbane Catholic Education offices; Dutton Park, West End, O’Shea Centre, School Services North, School Services South and Ngutana Lui Cultural Centre. Each working collaboratively, sharing professional knowledge, guiding systemic processes, building capacity and partnering closely with school communities.
Beyond the cross lies a circular background containing blue, aqua and cream layers representing our oceans, waterways and our Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters. Each layer is representative of waves carrying keystone messages of faith, hope, justice and integrity from the centre to the very outer edges and across every one of our school communities. The dots located on each wave are symbolic of our students and families coming to school with unique and diverse narratives.
The rich reddish-brown and ochre coloured background reflects the energy and vitality of Country; its unwavering sacredness to First Peoples culture, First Peoples identity, First Peoples sense of belonging and perpetual source of First Peoples spiritual sustenance. Swirls imprinted upon the land and across the waterways represent Ancestral spirits; roaming Country, holding energy, carrying songlines and sacredstory; their voices often heard in the quietness and gentle winds. Dots loosely spread across Country are our Ancestors gathered in sacred places giving us strength, nourishing, nurturing and healing our spirits.
This painting holds a story about Brisbane Catholic’s Educations journey towards genuine reconciliation; a story of recognition, respect and healing through action. This is just one step of many. Together we can make change happen.
Artist and Story Teller – Mary McMurtrie
Brisbane Catholic Education
243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102
GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone: (07) 3033 7000
Fax: (07) 3844 5101