I want to help work toward reconciliation in Australia. What can I do?

Text: 'Be a Voice for Generations. National Reconciliation Week 2023. 27 May - 3 June. nrw.reconcilitation.org.au. #NRW2023.' Reconciliation Australia logo.


We’ve almost reached the conclusion of this year’s National Reconciliation Week, which finishes up on Saturday 3 June, marking the anniversary of the High Court Mabo decision. There’ve been a range of events to get involved in, and resources to share, led by Reconciliation Australia.


What is reconciliation?

Reconciliation Australia, an organisation committed to strengthening respect and trust between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and the wider Australian community, describes reconciliation as being about “strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.

“For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australia’s colonial history is characterised by devastating land dispossession, violence, and racism,” the organisation says.

“Over the last half century, however, many significant steps towards reconciliation have been taken.

“Reconciliation is an ongoing journey that reminds us that while generations of Australians have fought hard for meaningful change, future gains are likely to take just as much, if not more, effort.”



What events are on tomorrow, Saturday 3 June?

There’s still time to get involved in National Reconciliation Week. You can share social media assets through your personal or organisational accounts to show your support, or you can attend one of many events still running this weekend, such as those in the Australian Capital Territory:

Connection to Self, Country and Community
Sunday 4 June, 10am-1pm, Jerrabomberra Wetlands Fyshwick, ACT 2609

First Nations Experience of Democracy Tour
Saturday 3 June, 12.45pm, Museum of Australian Democracy, ACT 2600

Native Plant and Traditional Tools Workshop with Dreamtime Connections
Saturday 3 June, 11am, Mugga Mugga Cottage Education Centre, ACT 2609

But, even though National Reconciliation Week, with the theme ‘Be a Voice for Generations’ is almost over, it’s important to continue to advocate for progress toward reconciliation each and every day.


What is PHAA doing to work towards reconciliation?

Reconciliation Action Plans are a tangible way for organisations to work towards reconciliation in Australia. PHAA’s new Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan was recently approved by Reconciliation Australia and can be viewed here.

Key action items sit under categories of Relationships, Respect, Opportunities, and Governance.

We are also committed to supporting the enactment of all three recommendations of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and back the Yes vote in the upcoming Voice Referendum.



What can I do to help work towards reconciliation?

Reconciliation Australia says there are many ways you can personally help. They include:

  1. ‘Be a Voice for Equity’

PHAA members are likely knowledgeable on the importance of principles of equity. Applying these to achieving reconciliation can be done through actions like supporting the businesses of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

  1. ‘Be a Voice for Self-Determination’

PHAA members are often involved in work or study related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ health and wellbeing. One key action PHAA members can take is to, at every stage of their work or study, question whether the relevant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community’s voice has been heard.

  1. ‘Be a Voice for Reform’

PHAA members are likely knowledgeable on the influence social determinants of health have on peoples’ health and wellbeing. Many will also be aware of how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are disproportionately represented in the incarcerated population.

Speak out by supporting campaigns like Raise the Age, which calls for governments to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years old.




Image: Reconcilitation Australia

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