Migrant communities increasingly important in achieving reconciliation

New reconciliation resources in ten key languages spoken in Australian homes released for National Reconciliation Week.

 Reconciliation Australia has worked  with Cultural Perspectives, a specialist research and communications agency, to produce the posters, flyers and explanatory materials promoting National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 2023 in Arabic, simplified and traditional Chinese, Greek, Italian, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, Thai, and Vietnamese, languages. 

The resources include posters and flyers and translated information on reconciliation and National Reconciliation Week. The 2023 theme urges all Australians to Be a Voice for Generations – Act now for a Reconciled Future

Reconciliation Australia Chief Executive Karen Mundine, said her organisation recognised the importance of non-Anglo migrant communities in the Australian social and political landscape.  

“It is clear that engagement and understanding from Australia’s largest migrant communities will be critical to achieving reconciliation. All the signs suggest that these communities are strong supporters of First Nations aspirations including those addressed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart,” she said. 

“It is essential that Australia’s migrant communities understand our history and are able to make properly informed decisions about voting in the upcoming referendum. 

“Young Asian, Arab, Pasifika, and African-Australians have been a growing presence at Survival Day protests across the country, and peak migrant organisations such as the Federation of Ethnic Community Councils (FECCA) have strongly endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart.”

FECCA Chair Carlo Cali recently told SBS News that the lived experience of migrants and refugees had informed their perspective to embrace the Indigenous Voice. 

Last year a meeting of 800 delegates from ethnic communities from around the country endorsed constitutional recognition through a Voice. 

Mr Cali said many migrants to Australia had experienced dispossession and colonialism themselves and therefore understood the brutal impact this had on the First Nations people. He said they wanted this legacy rectified. 

Just over half of Australians were either born overseas or have at least one migrant parent; nearly a quarter of Australians speak a language other than English at home. 

See more on Translated Resources.

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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