25 years on ...
At the well-attended August Local Reconciliation Groups Forum, we were privileged to hear from Dr Muriel Bamblett, CEO of VACCA, who spoke with optimism and excitement (and a degree of surprise) about the seriousness of the commitment of the Victorian Government to Self Determination and to negotiating a Treaty.
Dr Bamblett also acknowledged, and warmly expressed her appreciation of the work of our local group network, encouraging the movement to remind our politicians that there is widespread community support for a Treaty, and to be prepared to bust the myths that opponents may throw up as the process gains momentum. You can keep up to date with the latest developments in the Victorian Treaty process by visiting our Treaties page
Later in the month at the Paul Noonan Lecture, Yorta Yorta man and senior Victorian Public Servant, Ian Hamm also acknowledged the reconciliation movement’s work, attributing its success to the fact that it is a grassroots movement. He also lamented the lack of political leadership at a national level, fearing that the reconciliation process is in danger of stalling.
This same concern was recently on show on the first day of the 45th Federal Parliament, when a coalition of national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership organisations delivered a strong message to Prime Minister Turnbull, his government and the Parliament: the relationship with the First Peoples of this nation must be reset. The group mapped out the following two key demands:
a meeting between the Prime Minister and a coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders within a month of taking office; and
the new Federal Government commit to join in a National First Peoples Summit to be held within the first 100 days of the 45th Parliament. Read more
Friday 2nd September marked twenty-five years since the establishment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and the formalisation of Australia’s reconciliation journey. In February Reconciliation Australia released its landmark State of Reconciliation Report, highlighting what has been achieved under the five dimensions of reconciliation: race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity; unity; and historical acceptance.
The Report found that over the last 25 years, Australia has achieved some significant milestones on our reconciliation journey, including the establishment of native title, the Apology, the Closing the Gap framework and progress on constitutional recognition of First Australians.
While there is much goodwill and support for reconciliation growing across all sectors of the Australian community, there are still many hard conversations before us.
Despite the progress made, the recent spate of well-publicised racist incidents and an alarming new push to water down the Racial Discrimination Act make it clear that the reconciliation movement has, more than ever, an important role to play in our national conversation.
Reconciliation Victoria believes that all Australians should be able to live their lives free from discrimination, and as an organisation will continue to fight to address issues of racial discrimination. Freedom from discrimination will help support efforts to close the gaps in health and other outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.
RecVic is a proud supporter of the "Racism It Stops with Me" Campaign. You can sign up and show your support as an individual or organisation. More importantly, you can find out how to speak up against racism. To find out more, visit their website.
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Reconciliation Victoria is the product of a people's movement. Following the work of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (CAR), Reconciliation Victoria Inc. was established in 2002 by a group of individuals keen to address the unfinished business of the 'Roadmap to Reconciliation'.
As the State peak body for Reconciliation, Reconciliation Victoria Inc. has focussed on leading the reconciliation process in Victoria by supporting the growth of Local Reconciliation Groups, promoting cultural awareness and education in the broader community, working with young people, developing strategic partnerships, and building the capacity of the organisation.
Reconciliation Victoria has played a vital role in educating the public on important issues relevant to Aboriginal Victorians. We can recognise the great disparity in outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous people on health, education and employment, and seek to do better. Indeed, we must continue to push government and others to do better on these issues. However, we must also ensure that reconciliation is not just about services and outcomes. It is also about respect and recognition.
Reconciliation Victoria has championed the recognition of Aboriginal Victorians as the first Victorians, and the special place they have in our community. Respect for culture, land and heritage is something all Victorians must develop further.
Reconciliation Victoria plays a role in bringing together indigenous and non-indigenous Victorians to recognise and share what we have in common; and to work on a greater understanding of the issues that keep us apart.
Download our 2014 - 2015 Annual Report
If you would like to become a volunteer or a member of Reonciliation Victoria please follow the "Join Rec Vic" link at the top of the page. Membership entitles you to stand for Council and to vote at our AGM. Membership is free.
Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may include images of persons who are deceased.
We respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of Victoria.