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In the State of Reconciliation in Australia Report released in 2016, Reconciliation Australia has drawn on international comparative research into reconciliation experiences in other countries to identify five key dimensions of reconciliation - race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity and historical acceptance. These dimensions provide a valuable framework to understand what is meant by ‘reconciliation’, and assess progress and priorities for a reconciled Australia. Critically, the report suggests that these dimensions are inter-related, and that we have made uneven progress against the dimensions which has stunted our reconciliation journey. This Report has provided the basis for Reconciliation Victoria articulating its understanding of reconciliation, and what is required to achieve meaningful reconciliation in Victoria. Reconciliation Victoria’s interpretation of the key dimensions and description of how this could be applied in Victoria is as follows:

• Overcoming racism and understanding white privilege and power relations: Strong legal protection against racism; zero tolerance for racism across the community; strong cultural awareness and competence within organisations and communities;
• Achieving equitable outcomes in justice, health, education and employment between Aboriginal and other Victorians: Appropriately resourced programs enabling the achievement of equity through self-determination; Victorian government achieving Closing the Gap targets;
• Developing a new State-wide identity: The sovereignty of Aboriginal people is recognised by all (including through establishing a Treaty); the significance of self-determination is recognised and valued; all Victorians have an opportunity to connect with a shared sense of place;
• Ensuring government, corporate and community accountability: State government policy outcomes are transparent; appropriate protocols/principles inform state government policy development; organisations are accountable for their reconciliation plans and commitments, and are developing MOUs with Aboriginal groups and communities;
• Addressing historical injustice: Truthful education of Australian history and integration of Aboriginal history into curriculum; full implementation of Bringing Them Home Report (1997)
recommendations to address lack of justice for those affected by Stolen Generations; full implementation of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Report recommendations (1991); and truthful community narratives of local history [eg. memorials to frontier wars, place names reflecting shared history and local Aboriginal language]

In addition to the above dimensions, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples  (2007) also underpins our work and provides an additional framework for us to understand and achieve meaningful reconciliation.

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Reconciliation

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