Although our Village is currently dispersed across the four corners of Melbourne, we would like to begin by acknowledging the Wurundjeri people who are the Traditional Custodians of the lands where the Council headquarters is located, and where we all hope to re-congregate very soon. We would like to pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
Never before could the world have imagined the resonance and salience that this year’s theme for #NRW2020 would have amidst the outbreak of a pandemic that has all but felled the world. But as this health crisis has blatantly reminded us, just as in reconciliation, we are all #InThisTogether.
This year marks 20 years of Reconciliation Australia shaping Australia’s journey towards a more just, equitable and reconciled nation. 2020 also marks the 20th anniversary of the reconciliation walks of 2000, where people across this great land came together to show their support for a more united, compassionate, decent and humane Australia.
As always, we are only here because of the courageous people who came before us affording Australians to now benefit from the efforts and tireless investment of people committed to reconciliation in the past.
As we committed to, in our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan that was launched nearly a year ago, we dispense with platitudes and focus on an honest, transparent journey of enlightenment. Tokenism and box ticking has no place in health, no place in Australia and no place in our Council.
Yes, we regulate a healthcare service that is extolled as being one of the best in the world, but if we are not adequately safeguarding the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, then as far as we are concerned, we are failing miserably.
We are so incredibly grateful and humbled by the continued development of warm and enduring relationships with, and opportunities for, collaborating and championing, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters and brothers as well as raising consciousness with all our stakeholders to ensure there is a shared understanding and ownership of our commitment to reconciliation and the spheres in which we have the most impact. We will continue to be guided by our conviction to “let it begin with us”, which is our promise and our pledge.
Wishing everyone a safe and meaningful National Reconciliation Week 2020. And yes, we are most certainly all #InThisTogether.