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Celebrating Reconciliation Week 2022

June 16, 2022
Client Services team member Sarah stands with artist Laurie Anno and the artwork he presented to Guide Dogs Queensland.

We recently celebrated National Reconciliation Week (NRW); 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. This year’s NRW theme was ‘Be Brave. Make Change.’, urging everyone in the community to make change beginning with brave actions in their daily lives.

At Guide Dogs, we hosted an event at our Bald Hills training campus, that saw both clients and staff come together to celebrate and share in First Nations culture, in a meaningful and accessible way. The morning started with the presentation of a beautiful artwork depicting what Guide Dogs Queensland achieves in partnership with clients and dogs – the connections, communities and opportunities that are created in and through our services and the dogs that we place with clients.

This artwork was kindly donated by long-time supporter of Guide Dogs and First Nations man, Laurie Anno. Laurie spent some time sharing the creation story of the artwork, as well as his personal journey in painting and how he came to learn all of the traditional methods and symbols he uses in his artwork.

Clients and staff were then invited to participate in two separate activities of First Nations culture, both of which were designed to be inclusive and tactile in nature. The first activity was facilitated by Sara from Ocher Bee, and involved clients and staff being painted with ochre to connect them to ground, and then participating in a grounding and sound circle.

The second activity was run by Larrakia woman, Lisa Anne Caruana, who has also been working with clients recently in our Wood Carving program. Lisa assisted clients and staff to create beautiful yarning sticks featuring emu feathers, which each participant was able to take home as a keepsake. The yarning sticks help to remind us of the importance of reconciliation and to remind us to Be Brave, and have conversations about reconciliation.

Finally the event concluded with a shared lunch from a local Indigenous catering company and provided a wonderful opportunity for clients and staff to both reflect and connect together.

This initiative was proudly supported by the Queensland Government through the Celebrating Reconciliation Grants Program.

Check out some of the photos of the day here.


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