Reconciliation Week

WaaWaa image by Bill Hawkins 2nd year Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art) 2014

Waa (Crow) is the protector and one of the two moiety ancestors in the Eastern Kulin nation culture.  We are very honoured to have Waa’s family watching over us at the Southbank campus these birds symbolise our connection to the land and the Eastern Kulin nation.

We as a faculty acknowledge the Elders, families and descendants of the Boonwurung and Wurundjeri people who have been and are the custodians of these lands. We acknowledge that the land in which we meet, work, perform, study and learn was the place of age old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal and that the local Aboriginal peoples have had and continues to have a unique role in the life of these lands.

Waa image by Bill Hawkins 2nd year Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art) 2014

Welcome from the Dean

National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June) celebrates the culture and history of the First Australians and is marked by two important dates in history; the 1967 referendum and 1992 Mabo decision. It offers us all a time to celebrate, reflect and commit to a conversation of reconciliation for a better and stronger Australia. Though this is an important week we must also acknowledge that this is part of a longer journey that extends throughout the year. 

We are very fortunate at the Faculty of VCA and MCM to have Deborah Cheetham AO as our Associate Dean (Indigenous) as well as Richard Frankland as Head of Curriculum and Programs at the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development. The Wilin Centre offers our staff, students and the wider community opportunities to experience Indigenous culture and knowledge via performances, lectures and exhibitions. It is during National Reconciliation Week that as a Faculty we have the opportunity to celebrate and demonstrate commitment to the aims of reconciliation.

We believe that the arts has an opportunity to be at the forefront of the reconciliation conversation. I encourage you to not only be an active participant in this conversation through the range of events and activities organised by the Faculty, but also to look beyond our program.


May I encourage every staff and student to:

  • find out more about reconciliation;
  • work towards practical reconciliation;
  • become involved in the work of the Wilin Centre;
  • celebrate the peoples of the Kulin nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.


You have a chance to connect with the longest continuous culture in the world spanning back 70,000 years.

Start now with the following links:

I look forward to hearing your own journeys and stories in the coming years.

Professor Barry Conyngham

Dean, Faculty of VCA and MCM

Reconciliation Week events

Tuesday 30 June 2017
Film Screening: Stone Bros

Join us for a special screening of Stone Bros, an Aboriginal comedy written and directed by Richard Frankland. Stone Bros has been widely accepted as the first feature-length Aboriginal comedy film. 

Admission: Free, register via Eventbrite
12.00pm - 1.30pm
Federation Hall, Grant Street, Southbank

Thursday 1 June
Restless: Curatorial Walkthrough

Gordon Bennett | Karla Dickens
Megan Evans | Nick Devlin | Jordan Marani

Join us at the Margaret Lawrence Gallery for a special exhibition walkthrough with curator and gallery director David Sequeira, as part of National Reconciliation Week. 

Restless comprises recent works by Karla Dickens, Megan Evans, Nick Devlin and Jordan Marani presented as a counterpoint to a suite of 'welt' paintings by Gordon Bennett from the early 1990s.

At the time, Bennett’s work confronted audiences with an unprecedented questioning of the ways in which Australian history is constructed and presented. In 2017, these same paintings sensitively articulate both personal and shared experiences, and shine a light on the processes of revealing and concealing the past. More than unpacking the complexities of history, Bennett’s often chilling imagery can be understood as a declaration of new possibilities, responsibilities and sensitivities for Australian artists and curators.

Admission: Free, please book via Eventbrite
Time: 12.00pm
Venue: Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Dodds St, Southbank

Friday 2 June
Preventative Suicide Program & Benefit Concert

With 95% of Indigenous Australians affected by suicide, many are born into families where grief from suicide already exists, sometimes across two or three generations. Suicide is likely the single biggest killer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The time is now for each and every Australian to take a stand and help reduce suicide rates amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As part of Reconciliation Week, the Faculty of the VCA & MCM is supporting a benefit concert in order to raise money towards helping awareness about the suicide rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Richard J Frankland and the Wandering Minstrels will be performing a one-hour set as part of this benefit. In addition, there will be some stories to share, some facts around the current situation, and some cracking yarns.

Donations can be made on the night.

Admission: Free, bookings essential. Please book via Eventbrite
Time: 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Venue: Magnet Galleries, 640 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Wombat season

Did you know?

Reconciliation week falls in the ‘Waring (Wombat) Season’ in the Kulin nation, a time when wombats come out and bask and graze in the sun. The season has cool, rainy days following misty mornings. It is the time of the highest rainfall and lowest temperatures. To find out more about the seven seasons of the Kulin Nation (Victoria) visit: Museum Victoria.