Be Brave, Make Change: Reconciliation Week 2022

Welcome Merchant is raising funds to sponsor a First Nations table at the Victorian NAIDOC Ball 

Welcome Merchant support the efforts of National Reconciliation Week and Pay the Rent to ‘be brave, make change’ and create equality for all Indigenous Australians.

This year we are raising funds to sponsor a First Nations table at the NAIDOC Ball in Victoria by holding a raffle at Feast for Good, a six-course degustation lunch in Surry Hills on June 25. The food will be made  by talented Syrian, Malaysian & Sri Lankan chefs from refugee and migrant backgrounds and will be accompanied by live music. 

Below is an explainer on National Reconciliation Week and Pay the Rent so you can learn how  to show your support too.

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is organised by Reconciliation Australia; an independent, not-for-profit organisation established in 2000. It is the national organisation responsible for building and promoting reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

NRW is 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.’

National Reconciliation Week is held between May 27 and June 3 every year for very specific reasons:

May 27 1967 is the date of the referendum when Australians voted to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples.

June 3 1992 is the date that the landmark  Mabo decision  was handed down by the High Court of Australia. Eddie Koiki Mabo led a group of other Torres Strait Islanders to challenge the High Court of Australia over ownership of Mer (Murray Island.) In recognising the Meriam People’s rights over their land survived British colonisation (native title), the court held that native title existed for all Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders.

Pay the Rent 

Australia is founded on land that was stolen from Indigenous people who have disproportionately missed out on wealth that has been generated from this theft. non-Indigenous Australians can support First Nations people by donating money  or ‘Paying the Rent.’

Pay The Rent program is organised by First Nations and non-First Nations people who work together as the Pay The Rent Grassroots Collective who are based on the lands of the Kulin Nation in Victoria.

Pay the Rent Grassroots Collective was established under the ‘Sovereign Body, Corporate Arm’ model which allows for a Sovereign Body of First Nations people to make decisions about how the money is allocated. A corporate Arm of conscientious non-Aboriginal people take care of the logistical and administrative work. 

“Pay the Rent offers all Australians an opportunity to work outside of government to right the wrongs”

Ted Wilkes
Lifetime fighter for Aboriginal rights and Nyungar elder of the Wilak clan

The Sovereign Body ensures that decisions made are transparent and centred around the needs of First Nations people. Paying the Rent doesn’t involve government or big business but transfers wealth from individuals at a grassroots level, enabling the protection of First Nations rights.

Reconciliation Week: May 27 to June 3

Refugee Week:  June 19 to June 25

NAIDOC Week: July 3 to 10, 2022

Feast for Good:

Where: Canva Venue, 2 Lacey Street, Surry Hills

When: Saturday June 25,  2022, from 1pm to 4pm

Support us by becoming a patron

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