Reconciliation Australia today welcomes renewed commitments from the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader that reaffirm the urgent need for reconciliation as key to our national identity.

In echoing the words spoken in Parliament some twenty years earlier, Prime Minister Turnbull reaffirmed that:

“For decades, Aboriginal identity was used to control the lives of Indigenous people and diminish their value in our society. It is to the credit of our First Australians that their strength, their resilience and their determination has enabled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to continue to survive despite the injustices and the trauma.

 Kevin Rudd’s apology for these past injustices has gone some way to heal our nation. Our democratic institutions and the Indigenous and non-Indigenous people that have steered them, mean our journey towards reconciliation has taken great leaps forward in the half a century that has passed since Wave Hill, but there is still more healing to be done, still relationships that can be built, and still many steps we must walk together on the journey of reconciliation.

 Which is why today, this Parliament reaffirms its commitment to the process of reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and we rededicate ourselves to redressing the profound social and economic disadvantage our nation’s First Peoples face.”

Similarly, in “rededicating this house to the pursuit of reconciliation,” Mr. Shorten reaffirmed that “as long as the gap in life expectancy, health, education, employment and justice stands between Indigenous Australia and the rest of Australia – then there is unfinished business for us to resolve…. Ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a full and equal share in Australia’s future.”

Reconciliation Australia today welcomes these renewed commitments, particularly recognition of the need for greater historical acceptance on part of all Australians, if reconciliation is to be progressed.

“In the Australia envisioned in this motion, there will be widespread acceptance of our nation’s history, particularly the wrongs of the past. The ongoing impact of these wrongs will be understood and we will commit to never repeating them,” said Justin Mohamed, CEO of Reconciliation Australia. “Together, we must continue to harness the goodwill and aspirations of the Australian people if we are to achieve reconciliation and see our nation reach its full potential.”

– ENDS –

Media enquiries

02 6272 2632 / 0458 722 608
media@reconciliation.org.au