Federal Election 2016: Advancing reconciliation calls for change in approach, says Reconciliation Australia
“If government investment is to deliver positive outcomes, a change in approach is necessary,” said Justin Mohamed, CEO of Reconciliation Australia. “Adequate funding, renewing and expanding Closing the Gap commitments, and genuine consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations are key to achieving better outcomes.”
This election, Reconciliation Australia seeks the following commitments from all major parties, and calls on the next Federal Government to enact these commitments as a matter of priority.
• Invest in respectful relationships with Australia’s First Peoples;
• Support constitutional recognition and discussions on treaties and agreement making;
• Recommit to and expand the Closing the Gap targets;
• Invest in public anti-racism campaigns; and
• Develop a formal truth and justice process for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
These commitments include, but are not limited to: restoration of the $534 million cut from the Indigenous Affairs portfolio in the 2014 budget; continued funding, renewal and review of the Closing the Gap framework; extensive engagement with States and Territories and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to renew investments and agreements; the establishment of a formal truth, justice and healing process; and swift delivery of a model for constitutional recognition, alongside the progression of discussions on treaties and agreement-making processes.
“To make significant progress towards a reconciled Australia, we must address past wrongs, and the continued disadvantage faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today,” Mr. Mohamed said. “Until we achieve reconciliation, we will continue to fall short of our potential as a nation.”
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