Australia Day and Reconciliation for the Inner West

Inner West Council has voted to establish a Frontier War Memorial to commemorate the true history of invasion and colonisation in Sydney, and will support a pilot Aboriginal language program with the intention of making it available to all pre-school children in the inner west.

It comes as Council confirms that it will continue to hold its Australia Day event on 26 January.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that it was time for the inner west to do more to bring about reconciliation in our own back yard.

“The time is right to recognise and commemorate the Inner West’s unique Aboriginal history,” he said.

“In light of the recent debate of how to recognise and honour what it means to be Australian, we need to recognise the truth of colonisation and educate young people about Sydney’s courageous Aboriginal history.

“Australia was the scene of a frontier war that continued from 1788 to 1934.

“We’ve apologised to the stolen generation, but we still haven’t acknowledged this devastating conflict.

“Council will work with the local Aboriginal community and wider to talk about an appropriate inner west Frontier War Memorial, that acknowledges the Aboriginal people who have given their life in the defence of their country.”

Council will also support a pilot program teaching children at Tillman Park Early Learning Centre Aboriginal language and culture through song, storytelling and the environment.

“I’m so pleased Council has endorsed my plan to support this Aboriginal language program,” said Mayor Byrne.

“If we can teach our children a connection to Aboriginal culture and environment in the language of Australia’s first nations people, it will help build a culture of respect and reconciliation.

“I very much hope one day to see this program available to all children in the inner west.”

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