By Pamela Nathan
27 May – 3 June is National Reconciliation Week.
This year it feels different. Like something has shifted. Maybe it is because for too long it has felt like nothing at all was shifting that the events that have marked the start of Reconciliation Week have felt so powerful…
‘Sorry Day’, on the eve of National Reconciliation Week, is a day when we as a nation acknowledge and remember the pain of the Stolen Generations – one of the recommendations from the Bringing Them Home report tabled in Federal Parliament on 26 May 1997. This year, our newly elected Prime Minister announced on Sorry Day Ken Wyatt would be the first Indigenous person to become the Indigenous Affairs Minister in the Federal Government and the first Indigenous cabinet minister in Australia’s history.
Minister Wyatt tweeted: “Incredibly honoured to be the first Aboriginal Minister for Indigenous Australians, committed to working & walking together with our Elders, families & communities to ensure the greatness of our many nations is reflected in the greatness of our Australian nation, now and forever.”
Then this morning, the words ”Voice of the Heart” emblazoned on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald above a magnificent image of Uluru, launching “a campaign for the creation of a Voice by the end of this term of parliament” (Sydney Morning Herald, 27 May 2019).
Alongside reports by Pat Anderson (‘We are again asking the Australian people to walk with us’), Megan Davis (‘Voice will end cycle of instability’), Stan Grant (‘My friend fears for the Uluru Statement under Morrison – but I don’t’), Dean Parkin (‘Three minutes captured 60,000 years of connection‘) an editorial arguing “The time for Indigenous recognition is long overdue”.
The SMH joins a growing list of prominent Australian organisations and businesses, including the big law firms, the finance sector, the Australian Medical Association, calling on the government to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The Reconciliation Australia website states: “At the heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To foster positive race relations, our relationship must be grounded in a foundation of truth.”
CASSE is proud to walk together with Aboriginal people with courage and to have the difficult conversations that are grounded in truth.
We are proud to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Voice. Treaty. Truth.
As Teela Reid stated: “The time is now. (“‘The time is now’: calls to accept Uluru Statement from the Heart”, By Helen Pitt, Sydney Morning Herald, 27 May 2019.
Find out more about how you can celebrate National Reconciliation Week: 27 May – 3 June.
Read Pamela Nathan’s full editorial on National Reconciliation week here.