Building relationships/unity and respect with the Aboriginal Community.
What is reconciliation?
Reconciliation involves building mutually respectful relationships between first nations people and other Australians that allow us to work together to solve problems and generate success that is in everyone’s best interests. These relationships are central to the Karreenga Aboriginal Action Plan.
Achieving reconciliation involves raising awareness and knowledge of Aboriginal history and culture, changing attitudes that are often based on myths and misunderstandings, and encouraging action where everyone plays their part in building a better relationship between us as fellow Australians6.
In its broadest sense “reconciliation” means coming together. In Australia it is the term used to refer to the bringing together of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal Australians. Supporting reconciliation means working to overcome the reasons there is division and inequality between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.
One of the most important areas of division and inequality is the difference in health, income and living standards of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. For example, Aboriginal people have a life expectancy some 17 years shorter than the national average, the rate of unemployment for Indigenous people is four times higher than for other Australians, and Aboriginal people are 11 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Aboriginal people.7
Reconciliation is about unity and respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Aboriginal Australians. It is about respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and valuing justice and equity for all Australians.
The reconciliation movement is said to have begun with the 1967 referendum in which 90 per cent of Australians voted to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution which discriminated against Aboriginal Australians.8