Media Release – Election Statement 2013

 In News

In the lead up to the 2013 Federal Election and beyond, Reconciliation Australia calls for all political leaders to prioritise reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

Reconciliation Australia knows from experience that stronger relationships built on trust, shared knowledge and respect for culture lie at the heart of creating a more prosperous and reconciled nation for all Australians.

During this election campaign, all political leaders have made clear commitments to support constitutional recognition of the first Australians. Reconciliation Australia looks forward to working, through the “Recognise” campaign, in support of a successful referendum in the next term of Parliament. We will seek further support from Government to take the campaign to the next levels of public awareness in order to prepare the ground for a successful referendum in the coming years.

While critically important, a successful referendum represents only part of the change that is required to achieve our vision of reconciliation.

We call on the next Federal Parliament to ensure that investment to deliver sustained and positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continues. Consistent with our vision for reconciliation, government investment must be based on:

  • Genuine partnerships and collaboration, built on sustained, respectful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, communities and representative bodies.
  • Improving the accountability of all parties to reform through good governance and community involvement in decision making and implementation, i.e. empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Building on existing strengths and capabilities to address not only current challenges but build better opportunities for future generations.
  • Consistent, long term policy and investment—across political parties and electoral cycles—that builds on programs that are working.
  • Recognition that barriers to employment are multiple and complex and require an equally sophisticated response.

We hope that the goodwill demonstrated by both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians towards reconciliation and national unity will be reflected in the policies and commitments of the next Australian Government.

Through developing respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and investing in their capacity to manage their own solutions, significant progress can be made in closing the gap in social and economic outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

Reconciliation Australia looks forward to working with the next Federal Parliament to achieve this vision.

Dr Tom Calma AO and Ms Melinda Cilento – Co-Chairs of Reconciliation Australia

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