it happens every easter.
Every Easter for the past 13 years. And we don’t really want to stop.
We do it because we believe in seeing the world from a different perspective. Because we believe that all young people are passionate at heart, and are able to change. Because we believe that reconciliation is possible, and sometimes all we need in order to change is to do one thing that we’ve never done before.
So every Easter Fusion Australia, together with Schools in Harmony, puts together one of our boldest and most challenging programs. It’s also one of our most life-changing.
For each of us in our relationships with friends, neighbours, families and between cultures, boundaries get crossed without recognition or respect.
The Uluru journey encourages reflection on our own lives to look at these boundaries. Participants are equipped with resources to assist in the process of reflection including their own personal journal for daily entries. This journal includes a map of Aboriginal Australia, identifying the hundreds of nations that existed before settlement and whose boundaries are crossed every day.
The Pilgrimage is proving to be for many a profound time of self-discovery arising from an engagement with Aboriginal culture and history and their own spirituality. Participants begin to see themselves more clearly and to view those around them with respect and admiration. It fosters an appreciation of the created world. Some common issues for young people such as alienation, bullying, violence, substance abuse and working at reconciliation are readily addressed through the embracing of values around learning when to be a “rock” (a steady one) and when to be a “stream”, (a flexible one, able to harmonise).
Countless young people have come back from the Pilgrimage with very different attitudes to those they set out with. Antagonistic ethnic groups within schools have become friends and have been heard discussing how they will communicate the change to their school mates on their return. Many have gained the courage to stand up in their schools in classes and assemblies to tell their peers what the journey has meant for them.
Since the first journey in 2001 there was a development of connection with central Australian indigenous leaders who have since extended a warm welcome to children as they have visited the Rock; a connection that has strengthened over the years and we hope to continue into the future.