01 June 2017

The heart of Melbourne has come alive to recognise and celebrate our First Nations peoples as part of Reconciliation Week 2017.

Fed Square is hosting a series of special events which bring together a huge range of civic, sporting and cultural partners, as well as performers, artists, academics and activists, for the inaugural WE | HERE | NOW program.
A range of activities will see Fed Square celebrate reconciliation with work from some of the most celebrated Indigenous artists, scholars and activists in Australia.

Among the activities are a guided Birrarung Wilam River Walk hosted by Koorie Heritage Trust from Thursday 1 - Friday 2 June, a Mabo Day community picnic celebration on Saturday 3 June, and Australian Mediateque documentary screenings at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) all week.

In a unique contribution to the WE | HERE | NOW program, broadcasters from eighteen SBS language programs have each recorded a special Acknowledgement of Country in their first language, which will be played on Fed Square’s Big Screen alongside a curated program of films, documentaries and other visual content honouring the Indigenous Australian experience, past and present.

The WE | HERE | NOW program acknowledges the 50th Anniversary of the milestone 1967 Referendum on 27 May, which changed the Australian Constitution to count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the census. The program also commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the High Court of Australia’s 1992 Mabo decision on 3 June, which overturned the assumption of terra nullius and recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ land rights.

Initiated by and including Fed Square, the WE | HERE | NOW consortia comprises The Koorie Heritage Trust, ACMI, SBS and NITV, NGV, Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit at Victoria University, The Long Walk and Reconciliation Victoria.

The program commenced on Saturday 27 May with the first permanent raising of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at Fed Square, witnessed by Gail Mabo, daughter of Eddie Mabo, and local Aboriginal Elders.

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