Reconciliation Australia was established in January 2001 following the end of the legislative body the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.
In 1991, the Commonwealth Parliament voted unanimously to establish the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and a formal reconciliation process. The Parliament noted that there had been no formal process of reconciliation to date, and that it was “most desirable that there be such a reconciliation” by the year 2001, marking the centenary of Federation.
At the end of its legislative term, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation established Reconciliation Australia as the non-government, not-for-profit foundation to continue the national focus for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
There are no single blueprints for reconciliation; no one policy or action to make it happen; no magic formula to ensure success, however there is a strong desire within the Australian community to make amends for the past, to recognise and value the unique status of Indigenous people.
Many Australians are aware of the serious problems faced by Indigenous communities and are determined to find and support workable solutions. Operating independently with funding provided through corporate and government partnerships as well as tax-deductible donations from individual Australians, Reconciliation Australia is guiding this momentum.
Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is about finding new and better ways of tackling problems and of connecting with one another.
Reconciliation involves justice, recognition and healing. It’s about helping all Australians move forward with a better understanding of the past and how the past affects the lives of Indigenous people today.
Reconciliation involves symbolic recognition of the honoured place of the first Australians, as well as practical measures to address the disadvantage experienced by Indigenous people in health, employment, education and general opportunity.
Reconciliation Australia works with business, government and individual Australians to bring about change. It identifies and promotes examples of reconciliation in action so that others can share the good ideas and add their support.
Reconciliation Australia also independently monitors Australia’s progress towards reconciliation so that government, business and the community can take responsibility to back up words with real commitment.
For more information visit the Reconciliation Australia website.
Last modified: 04 February 2011