New book initiates national conversation about Indigenous policymaking in Australia

Senator Andrew Bragg draws on liberal values to make a compelling case for national reconciliation in Australia in a new book Buraadja: The liberal case for national reconciliation, published by the PM Glynn Institute at Australian Catholic University (ACU).

Rachel Perkins, managing director of Blackfella Films and one of Australia’s foremost Indigenous filmmakers, launched Buraadja in Sydney on Monday 3 May.

Senator Bragg undertook this work as a visiting fellow at the PM Glynn Institute as a contribution to the Institute’s Indigenous Public Policy Program.

He offers some practical suggestions for remembering Australia’s history, listening to Indigenous people, and planning for the future.

The Glynn Institute commissioned the book as part of its commitment to encouraging discussion about the future of Indigenous public policymaking in Australia.

ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Zlatko Skrbis said that Senator Bragg had made an innovative contribution to our efforts to rethink what reconciliation means in 21st century Australia.

“Not everyone will agree with his take on how we can achieve reconciliation—and that’s fine. The Institute did not commission this book in order to tell people how to resolve problems in Indigenous affairs. It commissioned the book in order to encourage people to think for themselves about how this might be achieved, and why good solutions might resonate with liberal values.

“Rachel Perkins and Andrew Bragg are two outstanding examples of people committed to

thinking seriously about the future of our country. We are grateful to them for joining the discussion that the Glynn Institute has fostered across the political divides over the last five years.”

The book’s title means “Tomorrow” in the Dhurga language of the Yuin people. Senator Bragg said the book was his attempt to engage with the Uluru Statement from the Heart, as Indigenous leaders asked of all Australians, and to set out three objectives:

  1. It sets out the contribution of Australian liberalism to Indigenous affairs.
  2. It assesses the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
  3. It offers a suite of options to address the valid concern that Australia does not do enough to incorporate Indigenous culture into our national life.

“In essence, it sets out the liberal arguments for the Statement. In offering my thoughts on the Uluru Statement from the Heart, I do not seek to speak for anyone other than myself. I am doing my job as a policy maker and legislator on behalf of 300,000 Indigenous constituents.”

The book will be launched across the Australian states in coming weeks starting with the national virtual launch with Rachel Perkins on 3 May 2021.

More about Buraadja: the Liberal Case for National Reconciliation

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