National Reconciliation Week | Sue Pennicuik

National Reconciliation Week

This year National Reconciliation Week coincided with some very significant anniversaries: 27 May marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum to amend the Australian constitution to include Aboriginal people in the constitution and to allow the commonwealth to create laws for them, which won the support of more than 90 per cent of Australians and all states; 3 June marks 25 years since the Mabo decision of the High Court that terra nullius should not have been applied to Australia and recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have rights to the land that existed before the British arrived and still exist today; and 26 May marked 20 years since the Bringing Them Home report was tabled in the Parliament of Australia, chronicling the devastation that was wreaked on Aboriginal people by the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - 9:30am
Speaker:
Sue Pennicuik

Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) — This year National Reconciliation Week coincided with some very significant anniversaries: 27 May marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum to amend the Australian constitution to include Aboriginal people in the constitution and to allow the commonwealth to create laws for them, which won the support of more than 90 per cent of Australians and all states; 3 June marks 25 years since the Mabo decision of the High Court that terra nullius should not have been applied to Australia and recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have rights to the land that existed before the British arrived and still exist today; and 26 May marked 20 years since the Bringing Them Home report was tabled in the Parliament of Australia, chronicling the devastation that was wreaked on Aboriginal people by the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families.

There is still much to do to achieve justice. The gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders at the First Nations National Convention at Uluru produced the 'Uluru statement from the heart'. The statement calls for the establishment of a first nations voice enshrined in the constitution and calls for a Makarrata commission to supervise the process of agreement making between government and first nations and truth telling about our history.

The statement from the heart I think goes to all of our hearts. It says:

In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.