A National Reconciliation Week poem


This week marks the start of National Reconciliation Week (NRW), spanning from 27 May (to commemorate the 1967 referendum) to 3 June (in recognition of the Mabo case). NRW is about exploring Australia’s shared histories, cultures and achievements and finding ways to contribute to the reconciliation process.

This year’s theme is In this together, which acknowledges the part that all Australians play in national reconciliation. Unity is one of the five dimensions of reconciliation, and is the means by which we will create a shared identity that values and includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

For this NRW, Copyright Agency commissioned a poem from Windham Campbell prizewinner Ali Cobby Eckermann, a Yankunytjatjara/Kokatha woman and member of the Stolen Generations.

Ali’s poem is a reflection on reconciliation. We hope it provides an opportunity for you to reflect on your own role in Australia’s shared journey towards healing.

All They Can See Is Weeds

she planted Acceptance flowers in the garden. at first nothing grew. the
other children teased her efforts refusing to help. it was primary
school and high school and still she persisted in her task. the teachers
began to fail her. they said she was distracted. her parents didn’t seem to
understand. sobbing she ran away. she carried the seeds with her to plant
in new soil. breathless she waited. when the first blooms appeared she
laughed with joy. her voice rang across the sky. it is still echoing.

Ali Cobby Eckermann, 2020

Our sincere thanks to Ali for these poignant words. At a time when artists are doing it tough, Copyright Agency is privileged to offer support by commissioning new work.

We are also proud to continue our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and writers, and to provide opportunities to promote their achievements. To learn more about what we do in this space, take a look at our Reconciliation Action Plan.

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