Held at Johnstone Park in Geelong, this annual event for National Reconciliation Week was developed in partnership with Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op.
Activities included: local Aboriginal dancers, Uncle Herb Pattern playing the gum leaf, storytelling by Uncle David Tournier, basket making, emu egg carving, jumping castle, face painting, BBQ and the launch of the new 'Djillong' website -funded by Councillor Eddy Kontelj.

Art work was also on at the Geelong Art Gallery & Geelong Regional Library - by students from local schools: Whittington Primary, Newcomb Secondary, Western Heights College and Clonard College.



Thanks to our funders: City of Greater Geelong, Reconciliation Victoria, Reconciliation Australia, Ian Trezise MP, Richard Marles MP; with donations from: Geelong Trades Hall, St Josephs College, Barwon Water, Faggs Mitre 10, Bunnings.

'Djillong' website - information about the history of local Aboriginal communities and settlement: see http://www.djillong.net.au


Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group movie evenings every 2 months during 2012

Venue: Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op
Lot 62 Morgan Street, North Geelong Victoria 3215
(please park outside the entrance, and follow the signs)
Time: 7.30pm on a Tuesday evening - see our blog for dates: http://geelongonefire.blogspot.com.au/
Cost: donations appreciated

All movies will include some discussion time afterwards.
Please let us know if you need help to get there: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Geelong & Queenscliffe community members - 40th Tent Embassy event in Canberra, January 2012

The opportunity to be part of the 40th Anniversary of such an historical event was a privilege. 
A group of us from the region where supported by Councillor Eddy Kontelj to use the Council minibus to go to Canberra to participate.

More photos and comments from people who went are on the GOFRG blog.

Reconciliation in the Park 2016 - Sunday 29th May at Johnstone Park, Geelong
10.00am - 3.00pm

'Our History, Our Story, Our Future' is the Reconciliation Week theme for 2016.

This year’s community event is being organised by Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative with Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group and partners.
Come and participate in reconciliation through FREE fun activities. Learn about the achievements and contributions of local Aboriginal culture and history in 'djillong'. Join in painting boomerangs, face painting, dancing, basket weaving and look at Aboriginal artefacts. BBQ, damper, Aboriginal musicians and more.
Come along from 10am to 3pm and reflect on what recognition means.

Funds have been provided for the event by City of Greater Geelong, Geelong Connected Communities & St John of God Hospital.


Wurdi Youang Cultural Nyerika (Dance) Festival on Sunday 17th January: an invitation to the public to attend this day

Invitation with details of the event


In July GOFRG was delighted to receive a NAIDOC Award from Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative. The beautiful plate, made by Wathuarong Glass (see below) will be on display during the year at Clonard College & Western Heights School schools, the Wathaurong Co-op, plus the Geelong Library  - all participants in the 2011 event.



June - September 2011............



A new conversation starts now…….how we can recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution.

Over the next 6 months, 20 members of the panel appointed by the Prime Minister will be travelling across the country to listen to Australians, as currently not all Australians are equal under our constitution.

It is time to move to constitutional recognition, to embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as full and equal citizens, responding to general recognition that this is something we must do.

75% of people support plans for some form of constitutional change.


A proposed change could be placed before a referendum. Current proposals include –
• A statement of recognition - acknowledging Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people’s unique culture & an important part of Australian society
• A statement of values – recognising Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people’s and fundamental Australian values such as citizens personal freedom……racial and gender equality and our commitment to a democratic government
• Repealing or amending the ‘race power’ in the constitution – creating a new guarantee of non discrimination and racial equality
• Make laws to protect Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage and redress historical disadvantage

The panel wants to hear what people think plus any other ideas. No decision has been made yet, and you are encouraged to take part and submit your views and ideas for Constitutional change.

The Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group is interested in being part of a local group making a submission to these plans. Would you like to do this with us?

You can find out more information at www.YouMeUnity.org.au


Reconciliation Week Event: Sunday 29th May 2011

This year saw a bigger and well attended event in Johnston Park for Reconciliation Week in Geelong.

The theme this year for Reconciliation Victoria events was -

'Let's Talk Recognition'.

Local Aboriginal community members contributed 'The Storyteller' game, dance, basket making,
face painting, didgeridoo playing, glass work and more. (See the photos below.)

Clonard College and Western Heights School provided wonderful art works linked to the theme, and thanks go to Geelong Library for hosting this art.

Thanks also to supporters -

  • CoGG for $2135 funding
  • Ian Trezise MP and Reconciliaton Victoria for $500 each
  • Andrew Katos MP for the flyer printing
  • Barwon Water & Barwon Region Waste Management Group
  • City of Greater Geelong
  • Marquees provided by Geelong Trades Hall, St Josephs College, Clonard College, Friends of Brisbane Ranges
Reconciliation in the Park Councillor Eddy Kontelj speaks
Je Be Wang Dancers 'The Storyteller' game, by Glenn Shea
Boomerang & Clap stick painting

Clonard College & Western Heights School - thanks to students and teachers for these creations.

For further information about Reconciliation Week, please

see the ANTAR website: www.antarvictoria.org.au/


GOFRG, together with Greening Australia, The Gordon and the Marine Discovery Centre, nominated Uncle David Tournier for a ‘Victorian Coast Council Award for Excellence in Marine Education’.

Stuart McCallum, President of GOFRG is seen below celebrating with Uncle David and the Special Recognition Award which he received in April 2011.





In December 2010, members of the 'Geelong One Fire' (GOFRG) spent a special day with Uncle David Tournier and Glenn Shea,

viewing and hearing about the cultural sites at the You Yangs.

David Tournier

GOFRG members enjoy Kangaroo stew

Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op and Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group members & families

For Reconciliation Week 2010 the theme was: “Are we there yet?”

Volunteers at the Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group set up a series of events for this year’s Reconciliation Week (30th May, 2010) – the ten year anniversary of Corroboree 2000 and the bridge walks for reconciliation.

One Fire is the Geelong affiliate of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR Victoria), a not-for-profit NGO run by volunteers in local communities. This year, ANTaR groups across the state asked “Are we there yet?” – have we fulfilled the promise of reconciliation? – and Geelong One Fire used this as the theme for their events”.

An exhibition of local high school students’ artworks, including painting, sculpting, and multimedia, was shown at the Geelong Town Hall foyer during May. The aim was to provide visitors with insight into how younger people view the work of reconciliation.

A family event took place at the adjacent Johnstone Park on Sunday 30th May. Young and old alike attended to share in Australia’s Indigenous heritage, with activities including boomerang making and painting, wattle-seed damper making, didgeridoo and clapstick making.

‘The Storyteller’ game was also available to play at the event. It was developed by local Aboriginal man: Glenn Shea. See www.indigenousstoryteller.com

In the true spirit of reconciliation, One Fire representatives consulted closely with local Wathaurong people in planning the events.

“Reconciliation is the responsibility of all Australian communities, but Geelong has a particular role to play” said One Fire Spokesperson Ron Milligan. “There’s a big Indigenous population in Geelong, but it’s not always visible, and Geelong’s history during the stolen generations is a part of that.

We need to make contact with non-Indigenous people and raise awareness about our history”.

Despite its troubled past, Geelong also has a proud history of reconciliation efforts. Ten years ago this year, One Fire organised a special train to transport Geelong residents to the Melbourne bridge walk for reconciliation. Amazingly, Geelong residents filled the train to capacity, and joined thousands of other Victorians in crossing the Princess Bridge.

By holding the “Are we there yet?” events, One Fire and ANTaR Victoria aimed to rekindle this spirit of hope.

For information on ANTaR Victoria’s events – see http://www.antarvictoria.org.au/

Opening the event - Councillor Eddy Kontelj



Cr Eddie Kontelj with One Fire members Welcome to Country - David Tournier
Face painting Boomerang making and...............
Boomerang decorating Damper making
'The Storyteller' Game