What is reconciliation?
Reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the beneﬁt of all Australians. While reconciliation can mean different things to different people, the State of Reconciliation in Australia report (2016) identiﬁed ﬁve integral and interrelated dimensions to measure reconciliation by: historical acceptance; race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity; and unity. All are interrelated, therefore the state of reconciliation in Australia will only ever be as strong as its weakest dimension.
This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme Grounded in Truth: Walk Together with Courage focuses on the race relations dimension of reconciliation. Building upon the 2018 theme, which focused on historical acceptance, National Reconciliation Week encourages all Australians to build relationships that are based on that foundation.
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What is National Reconciliation Week?
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 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 mark two signiﬁcant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, which gave the Australian Government the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to include them in the Census; and the High Court Mabo decision, which saw the concept of terra nullius overturned.
As part of National Reconciliation Week, let’s all make a commitment to learn more about the experience of Indigenous Australians, about the policies that have caused terrible harm and to celebrate the strength and resilience within First Nations people. In 2008, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued an apology to First Nations people who suffered under policies that led to the Stolen Generations. To watch this important moment in Australian history click here.
Feature Image: National Reconciliation Week website