Next Federal Parliament must make reconciliation a priority

As Australians prepare to go to the polls this Saturday, Reconciliation Australia has released a roadmap of priority steps the next Federal Parliament should take to advance reconciliation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The document proposes key policy priorities to address the unresolved issues of reconciliation. These include legislation setting out support, a timeframe, and the process for advancing the issues proposed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

The Reconciliation Australia roadmap also calls for urgently renewing and increasing investments to meet expanded Closing the Gap targets.

Reconciliation Australia regularly surveys the community, publishing the results in the Australian Reconciliation Barometer. The CEO of Reconciliation Australia, Karen Mundine, says the Barometer shows the great majority of Australians support reconciliation and the demands of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and expect the next parliament to act decisively.

“There is a national convergence between the aspirations of First Nations people, as reflected in the Uluru Statement, and the views of non-Indigenous Australians who overwhelmingly back a constitutionally enshrined First Nations voice in Parliament and a comprehensive process of truth telling. This presents the next federal parliament with a rare mandate and opportunity to advance the national reconciliation agenda.” Ms Mundine said.

Ms Mundine said the next federal parliament should immediately commit to support truth-telling initiatives at a local, regional and national level by establishing a community grants program to initiate and support truth-telling projects, and the development of resources to support this.

“The establishment of a national healing centre, reform of the national school curriculum to better encompass Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history and consideration of a national truth and reconciliation commission to support a process of truth-telling should all be on the next Federal Parliament’s first-term agenda.”

Karen Mundine says the roadmap also calls for the continued support of Reconciliation Australia’s work.

“Reconciliation Australia continues to lead the national reconciliation process and that role needs to be boosted over the next three years to enhance the momentum for change,” said Ms Mundine.

“These proposed actions set a solid foundation from which to build a truly just, equitable and reconciled Australia.”

Read Reconciliation Australia’s key asks to Federal Parliament.

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.

Skip to content
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap