In 2021, Reconciliation Australia contracted us to lead the creative development of the theme for National Reconciliation Week.
Our client’s objective was to create campaign messaging and collateral that not only acknowledged the 20-year history of Reconciliation Australia and the reconciliation movement to date, but also challenged all Australians to do more, and work harder, to achieve the goals of the reconciliation movement.
Knowing this campaign required a bolder, braver approach, we pitched a theme that responded directly to complacency and tokenism, with the words:
“More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.”
The aim was to encourage Australians to commit themselves to the movement, emphasising that reconciliation can only be achieved through meaningful reflection, dialogue and action.
Bringing the notion of reconciliation into tangibility, this year’s theme is about action. It takes sincere engagement and quantifiable action to truly begin to reconcile. It also takes truth telling. And listening.
Responding to the client’s preference for a bright, bold visual approach, we worked closely with Warumungu/Wombaya artist, Jessica Johnson, who developed the incredible artwork for 2021. This was a highly collaborative process that allowed Jessica’s art to be integrated appropriately by our design team across various materials without losing its meaning or heart.
Jessica’s work for NRW2021 tells the story of the land and community sharing a united call for action on reconciliation.
“With their rainbow shaped souls the spirits ask for us to join and make reconciliation more than a word, take action” – Action by Jessica Johnson
The theme ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes Action’, has been shared across a number of design assets including an animation which was broadcast nationally on TV and online.
Each year, NRW takes place from the 27th March to 3rd June. These dates are significant in that they commemorate milestones for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
May 27th marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum whereby Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were constitutionally recognised in the Census. June 3rd marks the 1992 date of the High Court’s decision to overturn the legal doctrine of terra nullius, which in spite of 65,000 years of Indigenous custodianship – defined the Australian continent as ‘uninhabited’. This event is often referred to as the ‘Mabo decision’ as it took place as a result of the work of Eddie Mabo, a Torres Strait Islander man whose campaign work and legacy remain instrumental to date.