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Commemoration marks birthplace of Reconciliation Movement

16 May 2017 – Media Release

Cumberland Council joined with Darug Aboriginal Elders, community representatives and local school leaders to commemorate the first recorded act of reconciliation at Prospect Hill on 3 May 2017.

On that day 212 years ago, three Aboriginal women brokered a peace meeting between key Aboriginal leaders and European settlers. The meeting set off a chain of events that brought an end to violence in the Prospect and Parramatta area.

Cumberland Council Administrator Viv May and Chris Bowen MP, Member for McMahon used the solemn occasion to look towards National Reconciliation Week, May 27 – June 3.

“May 3 doesn’t have a place in our national calendar. But it should. What happened here over 200 years ago was a defining moment in Australia’s history,” Mr May said.

“The Aboriginal women offered food to the settlers; men they believed responsible, or at least complicit, in violence against their loved ones. It was a remarkable gesture of reconciliation, peace and sorrow.

“With National Reconciliation Week around the corner, we are challenged by the example of Prospect Hill. As a nation we must follow in the footsteps of those Aboriginal women: always looking for the higher ground; able to envision a future different from our present.”

Cumberland Council will celebrate National Reconciliation Week with events during the Auburn Botanic Garden Open Day on Sunday 28 May, 10am-4pm including:

  • Didgeridoo performances
  • Indigenous art workshop for kids
  • Bush tucker tasting
  • Indigenous cultural talks with traditional tools, storytelling and song
  • Aboriginal Elder Uncle Lex will make a Coolamon (wood/bark container), leaving behind a scar tree

Cumberland libraries will also offer free Indigenous craft sessions for primary school aged students throughout National Reconciliation Week. No bookings necessary. All sessions run from 3.30pm-4.30pm.

  • Monday 29 May, Guildford Library
  • Tuesday 30 May, Wentworthville Library
  • Wednesday 31 May, Auburn Library, Merrylands Library and Regents Park Library
  • Thursday 1 June, Greystanes Library and Lidcombe Library
  • Friday 2 June, Granville Library