Reconciliation Week Statement from the NSWALC Chair Anne Dennis

We are All in this Together – A Reconciliation Week Statement from the NSWALC Chair Anne Dennis

20 years ago, 250,000 people walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, to show their support for reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.

If you were there, no doubt you’ll remember how incredibly electric that time was, as hundreds of thousands of Australians walked together in a spirit of community and fellowship.

That historic walk and many other events around the country were the largest demonstrations of support for a cause that has ever taken place in Australia.

Reconciliation Week also commemorates significant milestones in the reconciliation journey; the successful 1967 Referendum and the 1992 High Court Mabo decision.

Importantly, the week is preceded by National Sorry Day on May 26. We remember the Stolen Generations, the pain and suffering they endured, and the lifelong road to healing for them, their families, and communities.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was released on National Sorry Day just three years ago. Its three overarching tenets of enshrining a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution, establishing a Makarrata Commission and Truth-Telling remain vital to a truly reconciled Australia.

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council endorsed the Uluru statement as a roadmap to justice, truth-telling and self-determination, and remains committed to a referendum on constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We are truly all in this together. The 2020 Reconciliation Week theme has never been more relevant as we all continue our efforts to keep our Elders and communities safe and well during the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.

Reconciliation Week reminds me to stay courageous and focused on our goals to protect our culture and heritage, pursue economic independence and prosperity for our people and carve a positive future for our children, grandchildren and beyond.

Please take time to reflect and enjoy Reconciliation Week 2020