The Plan commits us to an ambitious agenda of cultural protection, social wellbeing and economic development.
It also adds a new political call: that there be a process for establishing a Treaty or Treaties between the NSW Government and the Aboriginal people of this state.
Since 1977 NSWALC has made remarkable gains but much more remains to be done. Land and water rights must be an inheritance not just a support for our system. Otherwise, in future years Aboriginal people will once again have little to show for what they once had.
The great achievements we have made opens up new challenges. We must significantly enhance our economic and social wellbeing without surrendering the land and water we have reacquired to achieve this; nor must we allow others to think that this is what we should or will do.
We must acknowledge our strength: 120 LALCs connect us to our 23,000 members and, through them, to all the 230,000 Aboriginal people in NSW. LALCs are representative, place based organisations that represent local Aboriginal peoples and support local voices. Our diversity and our reach gives us great strength. NSWALC will work with all LALCs to maximise this. We have a strong agreement among us about how we govern ourselves through our nine regions. Our cultural diversity combined with a unity of purpose will build a better future for our children and grandchildren.
Being successful will require us - NSWALC, LALCs, members and Aboriginal peoples - to walk together and to enable others in the community to join us in genuine partnership. We are all custodians of our lands and waters. NSWALC embraces our leadership role in this journey. Where we exercise our leadership responsibilities, we will do this solely for the benefit of all Aboriginal people now and into the future.