With the release of the Australian Reconciliation Barometer just over a week ago, I was heartened to see an increasing support for reconciliation and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a say in their own affairs.
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and our supporters, we’re often worn down by the endless cycle of bad news, bad policy or government not listening to us.
It has been interesting to observe the debate about what today, 26 Jaunary, means for us as a nation and individually.
Sunday 10th December marked 25 years since the landmark Keating Redfern Speech. It was a speech that told the truth.
Coming from a Prime Minister, it was a truth that could not be unsaid, a truth that formed the foundation for moving forward together on the journey towards a reconciled nation. He said:
- NITV journalist and Wirradjuri man Stan Grant made profound remarks about racism that challenge the fabric of the Australian Dream. He was participating in a debate hosted by the Ethics Centre in 2015. Watch the clip here.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights organisation ANTaR today honours and pays its respects to the connection to land and sea of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - the oldest continuing cultures on the planet.
National Director Andrew Meehan said the week was a great opportunity for all Australians to pause, learn about, and pay respects to the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander country, particularly that on which we walk and live each day, or travel through on a regular basis.
How Recconilied Are We?
Relationships have been built, trust and respect has widened and there exists today a greater awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, and our shared histories, than what existed in the decades that preceded the turn of the century.
This week is an opportunity to renew our commitment to reconciliation, and reflect on how far we have come as well as the journey ahead towards a reconciled nation.
It's time for sustained, ongoing engagement, education, and taking action from non-Indigenous Australians. Professor Larissa Behrendt and ANTaR National Director Andrew Meehan discuss the need for solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this Guardian piece. Read here.