The end of the year is always a time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we are going. Reconciliation Victoria performs its work as a peak body working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians to build a better Victoria by understanding and acknowledging the true history of this country and redressing some of the legacies of colonialism.
It’s humbling and exciting to share this aim together with large numbers of Victorians across the state. We welcome your important involvement in this crucial task: whether it’s talking around the kitchen table with your family and friends, political lobbying, or organising or attending events to build understanding about cultural strengths and our sense of nationhood, we need all hands on deck.
This is not to paper over very real differences in opinions within both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and the non-Indigenous community, but the strength we bring as a movement is our ability to talk with each other, listen to each other and ponder and plan together the way forward. Let’s make 2015 a year of change and shift so that the Australia we live in and create is one that starts from the right place: a place that has been looked after for thousands of years by the First Peoples of this country – a proud, strong and growing community. If you'd like to join us on the journey, please get in touch!
~ Deb Chapman, Acting Statewide Coordinator.
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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