Reconciliation - Study Is My Buddy 2015

• Definition – the process of understanding and
restoring a relationship, especially between
Indigenous peoples and the wider community
• Reconciliation is a community-based
movement involving Indigenous and nonIndigenous Australians
Achieving reconciliation
• involves raising awareness and knowledge of
Indigenous history and culture, changing
attitudes that are often based on myths and
• encouraging action where everyone plays
their part in building a better relationship
between us as fellow Australians.
• Reconciliation in Australia is based on three main
– RECOGNITION that Indigenous people are the traditional
owners of the land and have a unique relationship with the
physical environment
– JUSTICE – Past government policies have been detrimental
to Aboriginal populations eg Stolen generation leading to
social problems
– HEALING – improving living conditions and quality of life
for all Australians, but especially the disadvantaged
Reconciliation today
• The Current Situation
– Individuals
– Groups and Organisations
– Government
– High profile individuals promoting reconciliation include:
Peter Garrett (politician)
John Williamson (singer/songwriter)
Cathy Freeman (athlete)
Pat Dodson (priest) – ‘Father of Reconciliation’, wanted to bridge the gap
between non Ind and Ind Australian culture. He was involved in Indigenous
land rights, founding chairman fir Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and
commissioner on the inquiry into Aboriginal deaths in custody
Reconciliation today
• The Current Situation
Groups and organisations involved in reconciliation
– Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) –
whom organised the “Sea of Hands” campaign in support of
– Reconciliation Australia – independent, not for profit
organisation that represents ideas of many Aust. People for
reconciliation. It focuses on closing the life expectancy gap
between Indigenous and non Indigenous children in Australia
Reconciliation today
• The Current Situation
– Australian Government
– NSW State Government has a commitment to providing access for Indigenous people to
the policies, services and decision making processes within its control
– The NSW government in partnership with Indigenous people has a commitment to
» ensuring fair representation of Aboriginal people on decision-making bodies and
» ensure policies and services are relevant and accessible to all people including
Indigenous groups, and
» recognise the disadvantages suffered by Aboriginal people in health and
education, and work with them to makes things better.
– From 1996, John Howard’s government came under pressure on the issue of
reconcilaition. In 2008 the Federal government – the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd formally
apologised for the wrongs committed by white Australians towards the Indigenous
– Kevin Rudd, tabled a motion in parliament apologising to Australia's Indigenous peoples,
particularly the Stolen Generations and their families and communities, for laws and
policies which had 'inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow
Australians.' The apology included a proposal for a policy commission to close the gap
between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in 'life expectancy, educational
achievement and economic opportunity.'
Strategies for the Future
• Reconciliation will not be a reality until
Indigenous disadvantage is improved.
• More progress and decision-making needs to be
made in the areas of Indigenous health,
education, housing, employment and land
• Self-determination is the right to administer one’s
own community which the Aboriginal community
requested in the 1980’s. This proposal has been
declined up to this point in time.
Additional Notes
• Refer ‘History of Reconciliation’ document

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