Students recognise

BENDIGO Senior Secondary College students celebrated National Reconciliation Week on Monday with a ceremony and barbecue lunch.

Students hosted a flag-raising ceremony and recreated former Australian Rules Footballer Michael Long's long walk to mark the occasion.

It was the first reconciliation ceremony in the college's history. 

Sorry day is about that first step - apologising and recognising that first step. - Isobelle Mannix

Student council secretary Isobelle Mannix said the event was a moving reminder of the importance of Australia's shared histories, cultures and achievements.

"I felt that learning about it in my sociology class was weird because we were learning about it but not doing anything about it," she said. 

"We needed a big event for student council this year, so I thought why not join in the curriculum and also celebrate the reason why we have Sorry Day.

"The rest of the country is doing it and we weren't doing anything.

"I thought we should make up for lost time."

Miss Mannix said National Reconciliation Week celebrated the progress Australia had made in eliminating racial discrimination in the community. 

She said the nation was slowly moving forward and National Sorry Day was evidence of this.

"Sorry Day is about that first step - apologising and recognising that first step," she said.

"I think a lot more could have been done by now, but I think with the right leaders in position we can do a lot in small amount of time."

Student council president Skye Anderson said she hoped the college would continue to host the ceremony because it was a positive way to promote awareness of Indigenous culture.

She said she only learned she was Aboriginal about a year ago.

"I just thought Aboriginal people were dark skinned," she said.

"A lot of people have that perspective.

"When I tell people I am Aboriginal they are surprised." 

To see more photos from the barbecue, visit www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au 

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