In May 2020 I cast on a Bells beanie in honour of National Reconciliation week.
A few days ago I finished this project and am wearing it with pride during our cool burst of weather. Each year National Reconciliation week (NRW) is celebrated in Australia and is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. I had purchased some Blak Heart pins and sequin patches from First Nations Artist and Activist Jessica Johnson of Nungala Creative and wanted to knit a beanie to sew one of the patches on to. Using the knitting time to reflect on the wrongs imposed on the First Nations people of this country, listen to their voices as they share stories and take further action, including always being aware that the land I live on was not ceded.
I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this beautiful land, including the Bunurong / Boonwurrung people of the Kulin Nation, who’s country I live and work on and pay respect to their spiritual and living connection to land, waters and culture and to their elders past, present and emerging. In this spirit I have committed to a monthly Pay the Rent payment
During this week I also discovered a beautiful account and resource; Common Ground Australia, who’s mission is to “Record and share First Nations cultures, histories and lived experience. To help Australians see the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures through providing access to stories and knowledge that will help bridge gaps in knowledge. Common Ground is designed to build a foundational level of knowledge for all Australians, and be a go to resource for those wanting to learn more and connect with our First Peoples.”
This is beautifully realised on their website and well worth a look.
Additionally here is a fantastic list of (mostly Australian) Indigenous resources for further information.
Bells Beanie (on Ravelry here & Etsy here) is one of my go-to side project patterns; I knit them up for gifts, my son loves them and has several and this is the third I have made for me. A good, simple hat! I made the brim deeper to accommodate the large patch and have been knitting it here and there over the past few months.