Three Initiatives to Show Up for This National Reconciliation Week

Whether it’s shining a spotlight on First Nations creatives or supporting causes that matter, we all have an ongoing role to play when it comes to reconciliation.

Nathan McGuire, Adam Goodes, Hugo Weaving, Virginia Gay and Narelda Jacobs wearing ALNF x Deus Ex Machina’s ‘Literacy Is Freedom’ t-shirt.

A time for Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, National Reconciliation Week calls on us to consider how we can actively contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

Running from the 27th of May to the 3rd of June, this year’s theme “Be Brave. Make Change.” challenges each and every one of us to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians. “We all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation,” says Reconciliation Australia, “and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures and futures.” With Reconciliation Week kicking off nationwide, we’re reminded that meaningful change begins with actions in our everyday. In that very spirit, we’ve rounded up three inspiring initiatives that are leading the way.

“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.”

Reconciliation Australia

Danzal Baker and Leila Gurruwiwi.
Tony Armstrong, Michala Banas and Tom Calma.

Literacy is Freedom

Literacy is so many things. It’s confidence, self-reliance and autonomy. After all, literacy allows us to take control of our lives and stand up for our rights. This National Reconciliation Week, we’re proud to announce our partnership with the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) and Deus Ex Machina on the ‘Literacy is Freedom’ limited edition t-shirt. The t-shirt represents a powerful campaign that aims to transform and empower First Nations communities through literacy, language and education. Garnering support from some of Australia’s most loved faces, all profits from the sales of the ‘Literacy is Freedom’ t-shirt go directly toward supporting ALNF’s groundbreaking literacy and language programs.

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Maara Collective on the Indigenous Fashion Projects runway at AAFW.

The Pathways Program

Passionate about supporting diverse design perspectives, David Jones is proud to support emerging First Nations designers in an ongoing initiative with the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation. Established with the goal of creating a future Australian fashion industry that is more inclusive and representative of Indigenous design and culture, the Pathways Program supports six First Nations fashion brands through mentorship, business development and cultural exchange. Taking to the runway at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, collections by KirrikinLiandra SwimMaara CollectiveNative Swimwear and Ngali paid homage to each of the designers’ deep and personal connections to Country in an immersive show.

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Native Swimwear on the Indigenous Fashion Projects runway at AAFW.

Kirrikin on the Indigenous Fashion Projects runway at AAFW.

An Aboriginal Australian Culinary Journey

A decade in the making, Breville has joined forces with a lineup of First Nations artists and the National Museum of Australia to bring together ancient stories and contemporary design with a collection of products for the heart of the home. Breathing art, rituals and stories into our everyday lives, the inagural limited series of products feature works by esteemed Western Desert artists and members of the original Pintupi Nine, Yalti Napangati, Yukultji Napangati, Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri and Sydney-based artist and Yuwaalaraay woman, Lucy Simpson. Curated by Alison Page, a Wadi Wadi and Walbanga woman of the Yuin nation, the National Museum of Australia will feature the limited series in an exhibition: An Aboriginal Culinary Journey: Designed for Living, with 100% of David Jones and Breville’s profits from the collection going to the National Indigenous Culinary Institute of Australia and other initiatives supporting the creation of opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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Piruwa – Kettle by Yalti Napangati

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Dhunbarrbil – Toaster by Lucy Simpson

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Kampurarrpa – Mixer by Yalti Napangati

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Marrapinti – Coffee Machine by Yukultji (Nolia) Napangati

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David Jones acknowledges the traditional custodians and owners of the lands on which our stores are located, Australia’s First Nations people. We acknowledge the right of First Nations people to their traditional knowledge and cultural expressions. We commit to working collaboratively and ethically to increase First Nations inclusion in our business and the Australian fashion and lifestyle industry.