The Festive Season gives way to the 'Festival Season'
Another big summer of festivals and events is well underway!
And there is cause for optimism, with a more mature national conversation around 26 January 2014 compared with recent years. The well-deserved appointment of Adam Goodes as our Australian of the Year, and his up front reflection that 26th January was not a day of celebration for him and his people, set the tone for a more balanced and reflective commemoration of the day.
It was encouraging to hear Prime Minister Abbott and the Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council Warren Mundine use public addresses on Australia Day to highlight the potential for Constitutional Recognition of Australia’s First Peoples to be a unifying moment for our nation. Mr Mundine went further and put the issue of Constitutional reform in a broader context, proposing that the government consider negotiating treaties with Aboriginal nations - a plan which the government has indicated it is open to studying further.
Seeing Treaty discussions back on the national agenda is very welcome and timely, given the need for any Constitutional reform to be placed in this broader context, and Reconciliation Victoria and ANTaR Victoria’s renewed focus on exploring and advocating for the development of local treaties and agreements as part of a national treaty framework.
In recent weeks we have seen the Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival, a spectacular free concert at the Myer Music Bowl to commemorate the anniversary of the National Apology "Heal our past, build our future together" and numerous local events around the state, including in a number of schools.
We invite you to revisit the powerful moment of the National Apology by viewing the video on this webpage.
And there's plenty more happening over the coming weeks. Read more on our Events Calendar.
Reconciliation Victoria is the product of a people's movement. Following the work of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (CAR), Reconciliation Victoria Inc. was established in 2002 by a group of individuals keen to address the unfinished business of the 'Roadmap to Reconciliation'.
As the State peak body for Reconciliation, Reconciliation Victoria Inc. has focussed on leading the reconciliation process in Victoria by supporting the growth of Local Reconciliation Groups, promoting cultural awareness and education in the broader community, working with young people, developing strategic partnerships, and building the capacity of the organisation.
Reconciliation Victoria has played a vital role in educating the public on important issues relevant to Aboriginal Victorians. We can recognise the great disparity in outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous people on health, education and employment, and seek to do better. Indeed, we must continue to push government and others to do better on these issues. However, we must also ensure that reconciliation is not just about services and outcomes. It is also about respect and recognition.
Reconciliation Victoria has championed the recognition of Aboriginal Victorians as the first Victorians, and the special place they have in our community. Respect for culture, land and heritage is something all Victorians must develop further.
Reconciliation Victoria plays a role in bringing together indigenous and non-indigenous Victorians to recognise and share what we have in common; and to work on a greater understanding of the issues that keep us apart.
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We respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of Victoria.