By Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston (ret’d)

This year’s National Reconciliation Week provides a great opportunity for all Australians to learn more about how we can better recognise the contributions made by Australia’s First Peoples.

Between 2014 and 2018 Australia will commemorate the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years since our involvement in the First World War.

As Chair of the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board, I believe that recognising our many dedicated and loyal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women will be an important part of the Anzac Centenary commemoration period. For too long their stories have largely been untold and unheralded.

I am a passionate supporter of reconciliation and believe that recognising and valuing our Indigenous peoples will help to build a nation that is more understanding of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander roots.

This National Reconciliation Week, I encourage all Australians to think about why reconciliation is important—and to be thankful for our Indigenous servicemen and women, both past and present.