‘Be a Voice for Generations’ unveiled as National Reconciliation Week theme
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute towards reconciliation in Australia. This year, to coincide with a referendum calling on all Australians to support A Voice to Parliament being enshrined into the Australian Constitution, the theme for National Reconciliation Week 2023 is ‘Be a Voice for Generations’.
The theme calls on all Australians to honour the work of generations past who fought for justice for First Nations’ peoples in Australia and to continue the journey towards reconciliation for future generations. It urges all Australians to use their power, their words and their vote to create a better, more just Australia for all of us.
Reconciliation Australia’s research indicates a large reservoir of community support for the next steps in Australia’s reconciliation journey, including the Voice to Parliament, treaty making and truth-telling.
Karen Mundine, CEO of Reconciliation Australia said, “The 2022 Australian Reconciliation Barometer shows 80% of Australians believe the creation of a national representative Indigenous body is important and 79% believe such a body should be protected under the constitution. It’s why this year’s NRW theme urges all Australians to use their power, their words and their vote to create a better, more just Australia for all of us.”
“We all have a role when it comes to reconciliation,” said Morgen Lewis, CEO of Auspire – Australia Day Council WA. “In playing our part and getting involved, particularly during National Reconciliation Week, we can help to collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures, and futures.”
Auspire – Australia Day Council WA, which is a member of Reconciliation WA and works closely with Aboriginal leaders in the development of its WA programs and events, publicly declared its support back in November 2022 for the Commonwealth Government’s process to take forward and implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full.
Bradley Woods, Chairman of Auspire – Australia Day Council WA said, “The time is right for our Nation to be having this conversation and Auspire is privileged to have a unique opportunity to play a role in what will be described as a transformative process in the history of Australia.”
Constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament means we will have an advisory body enshrined in the Constitution that would enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people the opportunity provide advice to the Parliament on policies and projects that impact their lives, essentially changing the dynamic so that the Australian Government will make policies with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people instead of for them.
National Reconciliation Week takes place 27th May – 3rd June every year. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. This year, NRW is being promoted as an opportunity gain more knowledge about the referendum and what it means for all Australians.
To find out more about Constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament means, you can take this short course. Resources to support NRW in your workplace, school or community are available from Reconciliation Australia.