The National Reconciliation Week 2023 theme is “Be a Voice for Generations”.
Reconciliation Australia CEO, Karen Mundine says the theme calls on Australians to honour the work of generations past who fought for justice in Australia and to work together today to tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation for the generations to come.
“There has long been a strong thread in Australian history of people striving to build a just society,” she said.
“Australian history has included many examples of non-First Nations Australians who stood with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people during early strikes, protests and notably during the 1967 referendum.
“Australia has a long record of inspiring allyship and solidarity to address centuries of racism and injustice.
“This National Reconciliation Week we urge all Australians to follow in this tradition to ‘Be a voice for generations’, while also imagining a better country for future generations.”
Ms Mundine said her organisation’s research indicated 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.
“The 2022 Australian Reconciliation Barometer shows 80% of all Australians believe the creation of a national representative Indigenous body is important and 79% believe such a body should be protected under the constitution,” she said. “And there is growing support for a Treaty between First Nations and other Australians with a 19% increase from 53% in 2020 to 72% today.
“Support for truth-telling also remains very high at 83% for the general community and 87% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents.”
Ms Mundine said 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.
“Reconciliation is about building a better nation; a more united Australia that respects and takes pride in 65,000 years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, stories and achievements; an Australia that believes in the right of First Nations peoples to make decisions about our lives and our communities; and an Australia that stands opposed to racism, inequity and injustice.
“I urge all Australians to join me in participating in activities this National Reconciliation Week and to raise our voices for the future.”
National Reconciliation Week – 27 May to 3 June every year– is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
National Reconciliation Week is bookended by two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey — the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision, respectively.b