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Acknowledgement of Country:

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet, the Dharug people. We would also like to pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.

National Reconciliation Week encourages all Australians to learn about our country’s history, culture and achievements. It is a time for us to reflect on ways that each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

Part of the Afford Lifestyle is supporting residents to explore the world around them. To recognise National Sorry Day this year, residents at the Afford Group Homes in Penrith wanted to learn more about Aboriginal culture.

Krystal is a lifestyle assistant at the True Blue Group Home and is passionate about educating the community about Indigenous culture. When residents said they wanted to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land during Reconciliation Week, Krystal and the True Blue staff were more than happy to assist. They organised a range of cultural appreciation experiences on-site. Invitations to join in also went out to residents from Sunshine, Panthers, Empire and Dolphin Cove Group Homes.

In the lead up to Reconciliation Week, Krystal supported residents to learn about Indigenous art, which inspired them to create National Sorry Day signs depicting the Aboriginal flag. They researched artworks and discovered that Aboriginal art is about storytelling. Indigenous art tells stories about the land, culture and beliefs of the Aboriginal people.

Watch: The Dreamtime story of Tiddalick the Frog.

On National Sorry Day, Dave from Bushbred taught residents how to make damper and cook it on an open fire. After they cooked the damper, it was sliced and served warm with a selection of bush jams.

Dave also showed residents a boomerang that he had crafted from timber found in the paddock at Cherrywood Friendship Farm.

For the boomerang painting, each resident picked a plywood boomerang and then painted native animal designs using Aboriginal-style dot art.

A BBQ lunch signalled the finale of National Sorry Day activities. The day gave everyone a new appreciation of Aboriginal culture and its significance in Australian history. The group also talked about ways we can all encourage inclusive communities.