Path to Treaty guides Queensland’s reconciliation journey

JOINT STATEMENT

The launch of this year’s National Reconciliation Week events has sharpened the focus on the Queensland Government’s commitment to Path to Treaty.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the week was officially launched at Queensland Parliament with the help of Elders, community members, peak bodies and industry leaders.

“This year’s national theme is More than a word. Reconciliation takes action and urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action,” the Premier said.

“The Queensland Government’s commitment to Path to Treaty is one of the most significant actions to promote reconciliation in our state’s history, and listens to and builds upon calls from generations of First Nations peoples.”

Queensland is shining a light on reconciliation as governments, communities, corporations and Queenslanders build on respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous peoples during National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) and beyond.

Key infrastructure and public spaces across Queensland, including in Brisbane, Cairns, Mackay, Toowoomba and Townsville, will also light up in the colours of the Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Islander flag.

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said the Palaszczuk Government is committed to a new way of working together.

“This will deliver real change and real outcomes through a genuine partnership approach, to continue the journey to reconciliation,” Mr Crawford said.

“We all have a role to play, and action to take, to make sure the future of Queensland is fairer and more just for all Queenslanders,” he said.

Reconciliation Australia Chief Executive Officer Karen Mundine said more than 200 Queensland-based business and organisations have a Reconciliation Action Plan.

“The RAP program is making a difference by markedly changing the way people think and feel about reconciliation, colonisation, and the relationship between non-Indigenous and First Nations peoples in Australia.

“While we see greater support for reconciliation from the Australian people than ever before, we must be more determined than ever if we are to achieve the goals of reconciliation — a just, equitable, reconciled Australia.” Ms Mundine said.

Treaty Advancement Committee Co-Chair and Ghungalu man, Mick Gooda said we know that reconciliation is about much more than treaty-making but Path to Treaty is work that supports and complements ongoing reconciliation efforts.

“National Reconciliation Week is an opportunity to foster and deepen this understanding,” Mr Gooda said.

“Reconciliation is more than a word, and so too, is the concept of treaty. What they have in common is that respectful relationships are at the heart of both. As we come together this week, and in the years to come as we progress the Path to Treaty, we can strengthen and embed this focus for all Queenslanders,’ he said.

The Queensland Government is committed to reframing the relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through initiatives including:

  • Whole-of-government Reconciliation Action Plan with 18 actions and 74 targets to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities to thrive through social, economic and cultural outcomes
  • Celebrating Reconciliation Small Grants Program for local communities to host events in and around National Reconciliation Week
  • Indigenous Languages Grants supporting activities to promote, preserve and revitalise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and dialects
  • The Human Rights Act 2019 which acknowledges the importance of the right to self-determination to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders
  • The commitment to legal recognition of traditional Torres Strait Islander child rearing practices through the Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (Torres Strait Islander Traditional Child Rearing Practice) Act 2020
  • Local Thriving Communities reform to enable community decision-making in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland
  • A partnership approach to deliver Queensland’s implementation of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap
  • The establishment of the Queensland First Children and Families Board
  • The appointment of the First Nations Housing Advisor
  • Ministerial and Government Champions Program directly connecting remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with government and ministers.

National Reconciliation Week is a national campaign each year from 27 May to 3 June that commemorates two significant milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey—the successful 1967 referendum and the 1992 High Court Mabo decision.

The week is preceded by National Sorry Day, which is commemorated on 26 May each year to acknowledge and recognise members of the Stolen Generations and the impact of forced removals of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families and communities.

The Queensland Government Reconciliation Action Plan 2018-2021 is available at www.datsip.qld.gov.au/rap

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