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1991: Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act passed by Parliament
2 September All day
Does your parish, school or Catholic organisation have a Reconciliation Action Plan? Today might be a good day to check on your progress, or to start the process of developing a Reconciliation Action Plan.
What is Reconciliation?
ANTaR describe reconciliation as “a process where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, non-Indigenous Australians and Australian governments forge a new relationship based on mutual understanding, recognition and respect.”
The formal process of reconciliation had its roots in the establishment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation which was established as a statutory authority on 2 September 1991 with the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act 1991. The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation was disbanded in 2000.
In 2001 Reconciliation Australia was established as an independent not for profit organisation with the aim of inspiring and enabling all Australians to contribute to the reconciliation of the nation. Reconciliation Australia highlight five dimensions of reconciliation between First Nations people and communities and non-indigenous Australians:
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australia’s colonial history is characterised by devastating land dispossession, violence, and racism. Over the last half-century, however, many significant steps towards reconciliation have been taken.
Reconciliation is an ongoing journey that reminds us that while generations of Australians have fought hard for meaningful change, future gains are likely to take just as much, if not more, effort.
In a just, equitable and reconciled Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will have the same life chances and choices as non-Indigenous children, and the length and quality of a person’s life will not be determined by their racial background.
Our vision of reconciliation is based and measured on five dimensions: historical acceptance; race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity and unity.
These five dimensions do not exist in isolation, but are interrelated. Reconciliation cannot be seen as a single issue or agenda; the contemporary definition of reconciliation must weave all of these threads together. For example, greater historical acceptance of the wrongs done to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can lead to improved race relations, which in turn leads to greater equality and equity.Reconciliation Australia