'In this Together' is the theme for this year’s National Reconciliation Week.

It’s 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 name of Australia’s new Antarctic icebreaker, RSV Nuyina, recognises the long connection that Tasmanian Aboriginal people have with the evocative southern lights.

'nuyina’ (pronounced noy-yee-nah) means ‘southern lights’ in palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines, the most southerly people on the planet during the last ice age.

The southern lights, also known as aurora australis, are an atmospheric phenomenon formed over Antarctica that reaches northwards to light up Australian — and particularly Tasmanian — skies.

The adaptability and resilience of the Tasmanian Aborigines, who travelled in canoes to small islets in the Southern Ocean, are qualities emulated by our modern-day Antarctic expeditioners as they travel south.

The name RSV Nuyina continues this theme and forms another chapter in the story of connection between Australia and Antarctica, which has played out historically over the past century and geologically over much deeper time.

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