National Reconciliation Week got off to a great start with a well-attended event at the CPSU office in Canberra on Sunday 27 May.
The evening began with a moving Welcome to Country from Ngunnawal elder Caroline Hughes.
MP Linda Burney and Senator Malarndirri McCarthy then led a discussion on the next steps in the reconciliation process and reflected on their experiences as Aboriginal women on this journey.
The outcomes of the National Constitutional Convention were a key part of the conversation.
Ms Burney said the parliament would need to “make a decision that meets the aspirations of Indigenous Australia”.
Senator McCarthy reflected that if we approach this as a journey from the heart we will succeed.
Jo Kerr, CPSU Governing Councillor and Chair of the ACTU Indigenous Committee, reminded us that reconciliation is journey for all Australians.
Two significant anniversaries in Australia’s reconciliation journey are celebrated in 2017 – 50 years since the 1967 referendum and 25 years since the historic Mabo land rights decision.
The 1967 referendum resulted in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples being recognised in law and the national census.
The union movement played an important role in supporting the 1967 referendum and will continue to play a role to ensure the success of this phase of our reconciliation journey.