As NAIDOC Week (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) draws to a close we celebrate and reflect upon the 65,000 years and counting, of history, culture and achievements of First Nations people.
We would like to thank and acknowledge local First Nations leaders who work with us as elected Members and provide leadership to the whole community.
It is important to remember that NAIDOC’s history is rooted in the first Aboriginal rights protests, which began over 100 years ago – culminating in the Day of Mourning which occurred on 26 January 1938, after which William Cooper proposed a national policy for Indigenous Australians.
This week has prompted reflection on the path ahead towards Reconciliation and acknowledge that the challenges confronting First Nations Australians are a challenge for all Australians.
This year’s NAIDOC theme is ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth.’ – three core principles outlined in the Uluru Statement: a roadmap to Reconciliation.
This historic document notes that integral to progressing on our journey toward Reconciliation:
- Voice: Self-determination and a greater say in the decisions and issues which affect First Nations People;
- Treaty: Acknowledgement that sovereignty was never ceded and a vision for an Australia large enough for an equal place for First Nations People; and
- Truth: Recognising Australia’s history of injustice and intergenerational trauma – that our painful past is inextricably linked to the challenges of the present.
In this time of celebration and reflection, we are reminded that none of these challenges are insurmountable, so long as we acknowledge our collective responsibility and embrace collective action.