Keating Speech the starting point for moving forward

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:

"Because, in truth, we cannot confidently say that we have succeeded as we would like to have succeeded if we have not managed to extend opportunity and care, dignity and hope to the indigenous people of Australia - the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people. 

It has been ANTaR’s firm belief since we came together 20 years ago, that without an acknowledgement of the truth of our shared history, we could not develop a stronger relationship based on trust, understanding and empathy.

This is a message we need to share as we head towards Survival Day 2018. You can help by signing our Sea of Hands pledge.

As Patrick Dodson said in the forward to last year’s State of Reconciliation Report:

Disturbingly, the Report reveals the schism between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia’s understanding and perspectives of how our nation’s history has shaped the contemporary circumstances of Indigenous communities, and their relationship with the Australian State. There is a discernible lack of appreciation by settler Australia about the grievances and sense of historical injustice that Indigenous people feel. This must be addressed for Australia to be reconciled.Pledge to think differently about January 26

An understanding of the truth of our history, will tell you that January 26 - the day the First Fleet invaded Gadigal land (in what is now known as Sydney Cove) - is not a day that includes Australia’s First Peoples in a national celebration.

It is asking First Peoples to celebrate the onset of invasion of the lands, and the history of dispossession that came with that invasion as so clearly articulated by Prime Minister Keating 25 years ago.

Celebrating it ignores the truths of our shared history and is akin to asking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to celebrate their own invasion and dispossession.  At the heart of reconciliation is an acceptance of the history of past injustices to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Take the Sea of Hands pledge

It shouldn’t be that hard to change the date to something more inclusive of the First Peoples who have lived on these lands for more than 50,000 years.

That’s why local councils around the country are rethinking celebrations on the 26th, why our national broadcaster changed the day of the Triple J Hot 100 countdown, and why momentum is building on the movement to find a more inclusive day to celebrate what is unique about Australia.

You too can take our pledge to:

  • Not celebrate Australia Day on the 26 January.
  • Talk to friends and family about what 26 January means to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and / or attend a Survival Day or Invasion Day event in solidarity.
  • Support campaigns to move Australia Day to a date all Australians can enjoy and celebrate.
Take action today