May 29, 2023

National Reconciliation Week: Be a voice for reconciliation

This is National Reconciliation Week. A time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements.

Reconciliation Week is a time for us to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia – where we live, work and socialise.

Here’s what our staff and colleagues have to say:

“My Mother’s fight for justice, and activism as an Elder and Stolen Generations survivor, led to the Victorian Reparations Scheme being established. This is her legacy; her children will continue her fight for justice and the compensation she is entitled to.”

Donna Wright, Northern Health Aboriginal Advisory Committee 

“Reconciliation for me represents the coming together of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to share a genuine recognition and respect for the First People of our country. Reconciliation requires us to face and accept past and present injustices and disadvantage, and demonstrate a commitment to working together towards a future of equality, respect without disadvantage for Aboriginal people.

I am proud and privileged to lead our Aboriginal Support Unit. Together with the rest of my colleagues here at Northern Health, we have amazing opportunities to practice reconciliation every day.”

Jason Cirone, Chief Allied Health Officer

“Reconciliation is about acknowledging and learning from our shared history, confronting the challenges we face today, and working towards a better future together. I feel privileged to have learned so much from working alongside Aboriginal people.”

Yue Hu, Director, Transcultural and Language Services, Narrun Wilip- Gin Aboriginal Support Unit

“Reconciliation for me is about acknowledging the past, the history, the injustice, and the pain caused and committing to work towards genuine respect and pride of this land’s First Peoples, of their knowledge and culture. Reconciliation starts with education, and I am proud to work closely with Narrun Wilip- Giin in promoting awareness of the impact, history is still having today in the lives of our Aboriginal patients today.”

Stefania Zen, Education and Engagement Manager, Transcultural & Language Services (TALS) / Narrun Wilip-Giin Aboriginal Support Unit

“Reconciliation for me means the joint acknowledgement of past history and injustices and working together to build respectful relationships and strengthen the bond between people.”

David Le, Manager, Transcultural and Language Services

“Reconciliation means acknowledging the sovereignty of the Aboriginal people; the wrongs that have been committed against them in the past and to make reparation, in order to have a united people.”

Lisa Bethune, Nurse Practitioner, Palliative Care Service

“Reconciliation means that we stand together, we recognise each other’s strengths, we seek to understand each other’s struggles, we embrace unity, and acknowledge that we have to re-learn the history lessons through the eyes of those who are the Traditional Custodians of the land.”

Belinda Scott, Executive Director, Mental Health 

“Every single Australian should have equitable access to the very best mental health care available. Working side by side with our First Nations fellow Australians, we can all make this a reality.”

John Dermanakis, Operations Director, Mental Health


Pictured the Reconciliation Week Planning Committee. From left to right (Back row):  Natalie Bloomfield, Aboriginal Clinical Support Nurse, Tya Fry, Aboriginal Occupational Therapist, Stefania Zen, Education and Community Manager, Lindsay Holmes, Aboriginal Mental Health Liaison Officer, Jason Cirone, Chief Allied Health Officer

(Front row): Yue Hu, Director TALS & Aboriginal Support Unit (Narrun Wilip-giin), Karen Bryant, Manager Aboriginal Support Unit (Narrun Wilip-giin), Stephanie Thompson, Aboriginal Liaison Officer, Moira Rayner, Emergency Department, Aboriginal Liaison Officer

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