September 04, 2019
Published on Monday 27 May, 2019
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) starts today and I’d like to invite everyone to get involved as we learn and work together towards meaningful reconciliation.
The theme for NRW this year, Grounded in Truth: Walk Together in Courage, focuses on race relations and its importance to the reconciliation process.
We need to create strong relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community that are free from racism and built on trust and respect.
To make this a reality we need to have truth telling about Australia’s colonial past.
Truth telling isn’t about assigning guilt or shame – it’s about addressing past injustices.
By knowing and understanding the past, and the impact of prejudice, we can ensure these wrongs aren’t repeated.
In the past, the truth about Australia’s history since colonisation was often taught in ways that marginalised the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Consequently, many Australians remain unaware of the injustices committed against our First Peoples.
The Australian government’s apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008 was a significant milestone on our journey to reconciliation. It showed how truth telling and historical acceptance can improve race relations and start the healing process.
Racism and racist behaviour can have major physical and emotional impacts not only on those who are targeted, but on their wider community. It also creates a barrier to social, economic and political equality.
Reconciliation involves challenging inaccurate past teachings and perceptions and relearning our pre and post-colonial history.
It’s very encouraging that more and more Australians want access to the truth and want to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture, rights and experiences.
We see everyone as equal at Lifestyle Solutions and we’re committed to an inclusive, respectful culture. We can all play a part in creating this and I look forward to sharing our new Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with you soon.
I hope you’ll get involved in NRW, it’s an important lead-up to NAIDOC Week in July. There are some brilliant events and activities taking place across Australia during National Reconciliation Week – click here for more information.
National Diversity Manager