Support for recognition and reconciliation

It is understood by all involved in the reconciliation process, including the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, that the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are critical to genuine reform and reconciliation. The people participating in the consultation process have strongly favoured a “voice to parliament” as a form of recognition that they consider to be genuinely empowering.

This call cannot be ignored.

We know from the strong public support for the Recognise campaign that our nation is ready for change. Australians want a more just and unified nation.

Our deep sense of what is fair demands that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a voice in the policies and laws that affect their lives.

There is more work to be done to support the council’s recommendations and build on the strong public engagement achieved through the Recognise campaign.

As the national conversation unfolds – and as and we enter the next phase of the reconciliation journey – the Recognise campaign will transition into Reconciliation Australia so that this important work can continue as part of the broader reconciliation agenda.

Reconciliation Australia will work closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, the Uluru Working Group and parliamentarians to ensure that the aspirations detailed in the Statement From the Heart are realised.

There is a great opportunity before us, so let’s not lose momentum.

Let’s take this next step towards a truly reconciled nation.

Professor Tom Calma AO, Co-Chair Reconciliation Australia
Ms Melinda Cilento, Co-Chair Reconciliation Australia

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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