Reconciliation Week recognised through conversation and art

To commemorate the final day of Reconciliation Week, St John of God Subiaco Hospital hosted a Yarning Circle, a traditional Aboriginal event which encourages respectful and honest conversations.

18 Jun 2021

St John of God Subiaco Hospital caregivers celebrating Reconciliation Week

The Yarning Circle was led by Ken Hayward, Aboriginal Elder and Co-chair of the St John of God Subiaco Hospital Reconciliation Working Committee, and attended by patients, caregivers and Sisters of St John of God.

Also in attendance, were special guests Dr Sarah Booth and Dr Mary-Anne Macdonald, lecturers from Edith Cowan University’s Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research.

St John of God Subiaco Hospital CEO Prof Shirley Bowen commented that as part of the Yarning Circle, participants spoke with one another about this year’s theme More than a word. Reconciliation takes action, and what it means to them.

“It was a privilege to discuss this important topic with such engaged members of our hospital community, particularly as this year marks the twentieth anniversary of Reconciliation Australia,” she said.

“I hope the event encouraged those in attendance to consider what actions they can implement in their own lives to bridge the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

“We are very grateful to Mr Ken Hayward, Dr Booth and Dr Macdonald for sharing their expertise and insights with us.”

An exhibition of works by the late Aboriginal artist Shane Pickett was also launched in recognition of the week.

On loan from Mossenson Galleries, one of Australia’s leading commercial galleries, the collection remains installed in the hospital’s Subiaco Clinic Medical Centre for the appreciation of patients and visitors.

Born in Quairading (Ballardung Country) in the south-West of Western Australia, Shane Pickett was one of the foremost Nyoongar artists of his generation.

He combined his deep knowledge and concern for Nyoongar culture with a confident and individual style of gestural abstraction.

Balancing innovation with tradition, modernity with an ancient spirituality, his works are considered complex visual metaphors for the persistence of Nyoongar culture against the colonising tide of modernity.

Shane Pickett exhibited in every state and territory in Australia, and his works are held in major private and public collections across the country, including the Art Gallery of WA, Australian Parliament House Collection, the National Gallery of Victoria, the National Gallery of Australia, and the Janet Holmes a Court Collection.

Learn more about St John of God Health Care's Reconciliation Action Plan