Be brave, make change: National Reconciliation Week launches in Queensland

Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships The Honourable Craig Crawford

Minister Craig Crawford and Kowanyama State School captains Jaytara Gibbo, 11, (left) and Jaharlah Aidan, 11, at the 1200-strong Aboriginal community on Western Cape York

Queenslanders have been called to “be brave and make change” at this year’s National Reconciliation Week launch at Parliament House.

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said the week shines a light on the efforts towards reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous peoples.

“The work of reconciliation is ongoing – it lives in our collective hearts, minds and spirit,” he said.

“It requires action from all of us, every day, in school, sport, business, and government.”

The theme of this year’s National Reconciliation Week challenges us all to “be brave and make change”.

“By taking time this week to reflect on the journey so far, we can look ahead to the future,” Mr Crawford said.

“We can recommit to the change needed to create a more equitable Queensland, where every person is valued, cultures are nurtured, and society is built on justice, unity and respect.”

At the event, held on National Sorry Day (May 26), Mr Crawford acknowledged the trauma caused to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities by the forced removal of their children and dispossession of land and culture.

“Acknowledging the ugly truths of the past is critical to allow healing for the Stolen Generation, their families, communities, and our nation,” he said.

National Reconciliation Week starts on May 27, which is the 55th anniversary of the 1967 referendum to recognised for the first time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australian law.

The week ends on June 3, Mabo Day – the 30th anniversary of the day the fiction of “Terra Nullius” was overturned in court.

“Today, we are working toward new milestones on the journey toward reconciliation.

“I am proud to be part of a Palaszczuk government that is progressing a Path to Treaty with First Nations people in our state, a change that has been called for by generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“As a government, we are steadfast in our commitment to creating a new future for our state – one where Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and non-Indigenous peoples live and work together as equals and with mutual respect.”

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