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Talking Recognition

Celebrity Indigenous chef Mark Olive, Aboriginal author Dr Anita Heiss and Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan have teamed up with the likes of Hugh Jackman and many more inspiring and well-known Australian celebrities to become ambassadors for National Reconciliation Week, which starts on May 27 and ends June 3.

“Reconciliation is about recognising what Indigenous people have been through, the struggle that they’re still facing, but also how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians can work together and make this a really unique country that works in harmony and shares knowledge and cultures,” says Mark, who has over 25 years experience as a chef and now runs his own food catering company, Black Olive Catering.

For Dr Anita Heiss, it’s the flow-on effect of reconciliation that helps people to focus on the positives that she appreciates.

“I personally feel that for much of the year, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are mostly invisible in terms of our positive and generous contributions to Australian society,” she says.

“National Reconciliation Week is at least a concentrated effort to say: ‘hang on wait a minute, look at all these amazing Indigenous people, initiatives, and cultures that are available for the whole country to enjoy and engage with’.”

To find out what’s happening for NRW, or to find some tips and advice on setting up and running your own event – visit

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