Reconciliation Week is a time to reflect on what we can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. This year’s theme encourages action, and emerges from Reconciliation Australia’s State of Reconciliation Report, which notes that ‘we need to move more of our effort from focussing on the preconditions for reconciliation, to focussing more on substantive change.’
Reconciliation Week follows Sorry Day, which recognises key milestones in the reconciliation journey: the tabling of the Bringing them Home report in Parliament; the Sydney Harbour Bridge walk for reconciliation and; the delivery of the Uluru Statement from the Heart calling for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the constitution.
In our work, we have seen firsthand evidence of how much better programs, policies and services are when they are designed with the involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. We have experienced the benefits of two-way learning, and we look forward to broader opportunities for listening, honouring and valuing the diversity of experiences, knowledge, and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We are proud to have recently gained Reconciliation Australia’s endorsement on our first Reconciliation Action Plan: Reflect. This plan will guide our company’s actions to ensure we work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, organisations and communities a way that supports empowerment and self-determination.
It’s an important step on a longer journey.
Reconciliation Week is a time for all of us to reflect on actions we can take individually and collectively take to walk alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in respectful partnership so we can be ngumbaay-dyil (all together in one place – Wiradjuri language).