Gleeson College Embark on Reconciliation Journey

Gleeson College students and staff used more than words in National Reconciliation Week in 2021 - they also took action, as this year's theme strongly encouraged them to do.

During NRW 2021, the college held:

  • truth-telling history sessions
  • attended the Reconciliation in the North Morning Tea
  • had interactive displays with First Nation artefacts
  • QR Code reconciliation calls to action in the courtyard
  • year 10 and 12 students spent their Food & Hospitality classes enjoying native ingredients in their cooking practical's
  • students participated in a Briggs Jigsaw
  • book immersion in Thomas Library
  • hosted a Jigsaw Speed Challenge during lunchtime while First Nations artists played over the loudspeakers
  • NRW Poster Competition
  • a special planting to commemorate Mabo Day where Native Thyme, Native Oregano and Murnong were planted which their Food and Hospitality classes will utilise in future lessons.

Reconciliation did not stop there for Gleeson with months later, they continued to take action, applying for, and being approved for a  Reconciliation Education Activity Grant for the creation of a Reconciliation Mural in the courtyard.

The school shared that the "finished product is a powerful, visual representation of the respect and pride Gleeson College has for First Nation peoples and their commitment to truth-telling of Australian history and their continual journey of reconciliation".

Talented local First Nation artist Scott Rathman (from Rusted Tin Contemporary Aboriginal Arts) visited Gleeson College to lead a design session, with a select group of our Year 11 Visual Arts students to design the mural.

Scott used the design concepts from the students to create a vibrant mural piece that was relevant to the Gleeson motto ‘WITH ONE HEART'.

Gleeson College was proud and excited to unveil their beautiful Reconciliation Journey Mural for the Gleeson College Community! A wonderful ‘connected’ wall-art, measuring 11m high by 2m wide, in the College's Courtyard.

The mural was made possible by a successful application to Reconciliation SA for a Reconciliation Education Activities Grant earlier this year.

Gleeson College said Scott's work:

"we would like to thank Scott so very much for our Reconciliation Journey Mural and providing us with the meanings behind all the amazing iconography (see below). It will forever be a special learning tool for our students and staff both now and in the future."


The 2022 Gleeson College Presidents had the following to say about the project:

“Gleeson's commitment to the Kaurna people and their heritage, as well as our ongoing respect for and responsibility to uphold their traditions and culture, is reflected in our new Reconciliation Journey Mural. This artwork serves as a reminder for us as a College to always devote ourselves to learning the truth about our past and collaborate together towards reconciliation by reminding us of our place in the long-standing history of this land.”


Mural Design Iconography + Meanings: The round ball iconography at each end of the mural represents growth through reflection. Reflection is a core element of Reconciliation - reflecting on self, taking responsibility for our own actions and starting to gain a greater sense of what is morally right and wrong.

The next iconography reflects hands holding the two circles with further iconography inside them - this is to reflect recognition. Recognition is relevant to reconciliation as it is about acknowledging and recognising our need for growth and also finding and developing our own voice to speak up and help others on their journey.

The circle on the left contains iconography that represents growth and the circle on the right contains iconography that represents finding your voice.

The iconography in the centre reflects people sitting together sharing, listening, and learning from each other.

The outer circle has Elders/Aboriginal community members supporting and watching over this process.

The beautiful mural, measuring 11m wide by 2m high, is now such a wonderful piece for our students to be greeted by each and every school day. It will be a learning tool for all our students moving forward.