At the main gates of Westminster School, flying proudly alongside the Australian national flag, is the Aboriginal flag in its bold, natural colours of red, black, and yellow. One of the features of our student body at Westminster is that it includes Aboriginal Australians, and this is particularly so in boarding. We seek to be a school community that expresses the hope and strength of a reconciled Australia, right here in our day-to-day learning and activity.

This is to be particularly noted in Reconciliation Week, a national week of events to focus on listening, awareness, and practical steps for positive understanding between Aboriginal Australians and those of us from many other backgrounds. The web page of Reconciliation describes this vision as “Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”.

Celebrated this year from Sunday 27 May to Sunday 3 June, Reconciliation Week will be marked at Westminster during Week 6, with a special Assembly and in our Chapel services.

Reconciliation is also significant as a key theme in the life of the Uniting Church, of which we are, again, a part. The Uniting Church’s founding document, The Basis of Union, calls us to be involved in “…reconciliation and renewal which is the end in view for the whole creation. The Church’s call is to serve that end: to be a fellowship of reconciliation, a body within which the diverse gifts of its members are used for the building up of the whole” [paragraph 3].

Reconciliation is important as the better part of who we are.  As Australians.  As the Uniting Church.  As Westminster School.

Reverend Phil Hoffmann