While we recognise the decades of dedication to the reconciliation process, Australia needs to move from ‘safe’ to ‘brave’ in order to realise the promise of reconciliation, a new report says.
The 2021 State of Reconciliation in Australia Report assesses the current status of reconciliation and outlines some practical actions that need to be taken if we are to continue to progress the reconciliation process.
Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine says the report shows the reconciliation movement is at a tipping point.
“While we see greater support for reconciliation from the Australian people than ever before, we must be more determined than ever if we are to achieve the goals of the movement — a just, equitable, and reconciled Australia.
“There is a far greater awareness of the complexity and magnitude of First Nations cultures and knowledges, and many more Australians now understand and acknowledge the impacts that British colonialism and the modern Australian state have had on First Nations families and communities.
“Reconciliation must be more than raising awareness and knowledge. The skills and knowledge gained must now motivate us to braver action.
“Actions must involve truth-telling, and actively addressing issues of inequality, systemic racism and instances where the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are ignored, denied or reduced.
The State of Reconciliation report’s focus of moving from safe to brave is supported by the year’s theme, ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes Action’ which urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action.
“We recently have seen many more people speaking up, asking the hard questions, seeing the hard facts, and informing themselves about issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and taking action.
“We now call on others to follow their lead by reflecting on their own contributions and striving to do more.”
The report’s release in 2021 marks Reconciliation Australia’s 20 years as the lead body for reconciliation in Australia.