In a few years from now, we will look back on 2020 and remember how challenging it was. Bushfires raged at the beginning of the year, leaning into flooding in parts of the country, and droughts in other parts. Then the pandemic struck, and with that came disease, panic, isolation, mass job losses and the most open racism to be seen in a long time. The year of 2020 seems almost hopeless.

In times like these it is important to reflect on the little wins.

For Reconciliation SA, we were extremely happy to have the oppurtunity re-design our National Reconciliation Week plans (as well as grow our online presence via several webinars). A large-scale walk and a community concert were in the works, but isolation forced us to re-think.

Thus, our Stepping it up for Reconciliation competition was born. To emulate the famous year 2000 bridge walks, the concept involved participants registering and over the course of Reconciliation Week, walking each day and logging their distance. The end goal was to walk at least, the distance of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

While we view Stepping it up for Reconciliation as one or wins of a torrid 2020, we would also like to extend a big congratulations to the competition winners.

Congratulations to:

Snowtown Primary School for the most group kilometres.

Mr. Daniel Casement for the most Individual kilometres

And last but, not least,

Ms. Ashleigh Schrader for most referrals.

But also, a big thank you to everyone who participated. Together, everyone involved walked, ran or rode an exception 11,785 kilometres during Reconciliation Week. Your support demonstrates that we are truly “In This Together”.

Speaking with the Snowtown Primary School Principal, Trish Boschetti spoke to Reconciliation SA about their winning efforts, Boschetti say “With all of our steps combined we walked the full length of the Kaurna country from Cape Jervis to Crystal Brook.  Being out in nature was very important to us.  Some things in our lives have changed but we can still all walk outside and everyone appreciated the opportunity to be outside and talk to different people along the walk.”

Inspired by the theme of ‘In This Together’, the Snowtown Primary School, came together to build mutual respect and understanding and walk together to create a brighter future.

Boschetti says that “this has been an unusual year with many people staying at home more than ever before due to restrictions, cancellation of sporting events, an inability to physically connect with family and friends due to restrictions and a loss of some of our regular daily activities.”

Upon finding out about Reconciliation SA’s Stepping it up for Reconciliation competition, Boschetti says that “we knew this was how we wanted to celebrate Reconciliation Week this year.  We walked an equivalent distance as the length of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to recreate the 2000 Corroboree Walk.  We walked to the Golf Club and back and had a different theme each day.  We met as a group each day prior to the walk to talk about the theme and share some history.”

In talking about the theme, and history, Snowtown Primary School on one walk carried the Aboriginal and Australian Flags and discussed the features of both flags and the R/1/2 class then made their own flag.

Boschetti says they also “listened to ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ as we walked and talked about the Wave Hill Walk Off and some of the historical events that happened after that.  We talked out the importance of Elders in Aboriginal culture and walked with a partner from a different age group having a ‘yarn’ along the way.  We looked at the Acknowledgement of Country and did that in some different ways as we visualised ‘country’ and while we were walking, we looked around and appreciated our environment and even saw a kangaroo that day.”

School aged children joined the walks, as the site was 100% committed to reconciliation. But the school is aware that reconciliation is not a one-week commitment, with Boschetti saying that

“Reconciliation is more than one single event; it is about how we respectfully work together each and every day of the year.  Our small everyday actions, our commitment to talking about the past, present and future and our cultural educational activities and practices all contribute to us walking together as equal partners to create a positive shared future.”