It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Australia in 2021 is a Dickensian periodical morphing into a ‘choose your own adventure’ where the state of things is entirely open to your worldview.
Focus has rightly been on the very serious issues of sexual violence that have been raised regarding the Federal Parliament and historically with the Attorney-General, Christian Porter.
However, there is already a risk that the profound importance of what has been announced in Victoria this week by the First Peoples Assembly and the State government – the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission – which will be the most comprehensive Truth Telling process in Australia since colonisation began in 1788, might be missed.
While the current media and political discourse surrounding climate change has been dominated by focus on its environmental and economic impacts, significantly less attention has been paid to the ways in which environmental damage is also inextricably linked to the destruction of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultural heritage and identity.
Reconciliation cannot just be about awareness raising and knowledge. The skills and understanding gained should motivate us into ‘braver’ action. This is what the State of Reconciliation Report released last week challenges the nation to do.
Karen Mundine, CEO Reconciliation Australia
At the launch of the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) report in Broome last week, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM observed that that the release of the report marked a line in the sand for our First Nations women and girls, and for all Australians.
June Oscar AO, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner