Standing up for Canberra

TNA Reconciliation Day

I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we are meeting on, the Ngunnawal people. I wish to acknowledge and pay my respects to elders past and present, and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

On the 27th of May 1967, Australia voted to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people in the census. In this vote 90% of Australia voted yes, which makes it one of the most powerful votes in Australia’s history, and this record has not been met since.

In talking about our past we also have to have a plan for the future. Reconciliation Day is about moving forward into that future.

It is vital we work together, as a nation, to reconcile the wrongs that have been written and work together to truly ‘close the gap’.

Australia has come a long way in achieving true reconciliation between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australia.

It was a proud day to watch the former Prime Minister make an historic apology to Australia's Indigenous peoples. However, an apology alone is not enough.

We have to work hard as a nation to bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. We have to work hard to deliver the same opportunities to all Australians, regardless of their background.

Reconciliation Day is about bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to share our stories and, most importantly, to understand each other. It is about recognising the need to close the gap.

I am proud to represent everyone here today, and I look forward to working with you into the future as we close the gap.

 

26 MAY 2018