Truth-telling process in Victoria a critical step towards reconciliation
Reconciliation Australia welcomes the announcement to progress truth and justice in Victoria through a formal process.
On Saturday 11 July, the Victorian Government announced that it will establish a truth and justice process to formally recognise historic wrongs – and address ongoing injustices – for Aboriginal Victorians.
Reconciliation Australia CEO, Karen Mundine said that the announcement is a strong step on the path to reconciliation in that State.
“Our nation’s past is reflected in the present and unless we can heal historical wounds, they will continue to play out in our country’s future. That’s why truth and justice are such critical steps on the path to reconciliation,” Ms Mundine said.
“Reconciliation can only truly evolve when the Australian community and our major institutions acknowledge and repair the wrongs of the past, understand their effects—and make sure that these wrongs, or similarly damaging actions, are not occurring today and are never repeated in the future,” she said.
She said that Australia is ready for a bigger discussion on truth-telling.
“I believe there’s a thirst for truth-telling emerging in the broader community and a desire to better understand our shared history. Reconciliation Australia and The Healing Foundation held a national Truth-telling Symposium in 2018 and it was clear then that momentum was building,” she said.
In the same year, Reconciliation Australia’s Barometer found that:
- 80% of the broader community believe it is important to undertake a truth telling process,
- 86% believe it important that we learn about past issues, and
- 80% believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are important to our national identity.
“There are truths of our history that remain untold, un-acknowledged, and poorly understood. They need to be included in our shared history, and our shared stories so that justice and healing can occur and progress can be made towards a reconciled Australia,” Ms Mundine said.