There was a great atmosphere in the Ulumbarra Plaza at lunchtime on Monday when students and staff joined with members of Bendigo’s Indigenous community to kick off the celebrations for Reconciliation Week.

The rain came, conveniently, before and after but the chilly weather meant a barbecue lunch was the perfect way to bring people together to consider this year’s theme: ‘Let’s take the next steps’. Koori Engagement and Support Officer Matt Holmes played didgeridoo and Aboriginal Elder, Kerri Douglas, welcomed the BSSC community to Dja Dja Wurrung country.

Students and staff were invited to write messages of reconciliation, and the event concluded with the installation of a stunning mosaic of the word ‘WOMINDJIKA’ (welcome) made by Sue Pickles’ Community Services class—a permanent reminder that our college stands on Jaara country.

On Tuesday, the film Bran Nue Dae was shown in BSSC’s Staff Centre. A small group of community members enjoyed popcorn and pizza in a room set up to feel like a lounge room.

Tonight (Friday) Charlie’s Country will be screened at Ulumbarra. This fabulous drama stars David Gulpilil and follows an old man, named Charlie, who feels misunderstood by the white people in his community—yet has become cut off from the old ways. The movie is an enthralling journey following Charlie as he gradually realises, among many other important things, that the bush is one big supermarket.

Ulumbarra Theatre – 6pm on Friday 2 June. Entry is FREE!