The Council presented
its two reconciliation documents to national leaders and the Australian people
at Corroboree 2000. They are the Australian Declaration
Towards Reconciliation and the
Roadmap for Reconciliation . This Appendix contains
the Declaration and the four
national strategies from the Roadmap .
Declaration Towards Reconciliation
We, the peoples of Australia,
of many origins as we are, make a commitment to go on together in a spirit of
We value the unique status
of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the original owners and
custodians of lands and waters.
We recognise this land
and its waters were settled as colonies without treaty or consent.
Reaffirming the human rights
of all Australians, we respect and recognise continuing customary laws, beliefs
Through understanding the
spiritual relationship between the land and its first peoples, we share our
future and live in harmony.
Our nation must have the
courage to own the truth, to heal the wounds of its past so that we can move
on together at peace with ourselves.
Reconciliation must live
in the hearts and minds of all Australians. Many steps have been taken, many
steps remain as we learn our shared histories.
As we walk the journey
of healing, one part of the nation apologises and expresses its sorrow and sincere
regret for the injustices of the past, so the other part accepts the apologies
We desire a future where
all Australians enjoy their rights, accept their responsibilities, and have
the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
And so, we pledge ourselves
to stop injustice, overcome disadvantage, and respect that Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples have the right to self-determination within the life
of the nation.
Our hope is for a united
Australia that respects this land of ours; values the Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander heritage; and provides justice and equity for all.
Roadmap for Reconciliation
Strategy to Sustain the Reconciliation Process
The National Strategy to
Sustain the Reconciliation Process sets out ways to build on progress towards
reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the
wider community after the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation completes its
These measures address
practical, cultural and spiritual dimensions of reconciliation.
Essential actions include:
LEADERSHIP FOR THE RECONCILIATION
- All levels of government,
the private sector, community and voluntary organisations publicly support
the ongoing reconciliation process, provide resources and increasingly involve
Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders in their work.
- A foundation, Reconciliation
Australia, is established to maintain a national leadership focus for reconciliation,
report on progress, provide information and raise funds to promote and support
- State, Territory and
local reconciliation groups, involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people and people from the wider community, lead and support action that promotes
- Australian parliaments
and political parties address the low level of Indigenous representation in
the political system.
EDUCATION FOR RECONCILIATION
- Schools, tertiary education
institutions and employers require and support the culturally appropriate
teaching of the truth of Australia's history that includes Indigenous perspectives
and addresses racism.
- The media feature stories
that promote reconciliation and challenge racist stereotyping.
PEOPLE'S MOVEMENT FOR RECONCILIATION
- Communities celebrate
significant dates and events and take joint action to achieve agreed reconciliation
PROTOCOL AND CEREMONY
- All parliaments, governments
and organisations observe protocols and negotiate with local Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander elders or representative bodies to include appropriate
Indigenous ceremony into official events.
SYMBOLS OF RECONCILIATION
- Governments, organisations
and communities negotiate to establish and promote symbols of reconciliation.
This would include changing the date of Australia Day to a date that includes
FORMAL RECOGNITION OF
THE DOCUMENTS OF RECONCILIATION
- All parliaments and
local governments pass formal motions of support for the documents of reconciliation.
National Strategy to Promote Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
This strategy proposes
a number of actions, including some constitutional and legislative processes,
to assist the progressive resolution of outstanding issues for the recognition
and enjoyment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights. It aims to ensure:
- that all Australians
enjoy, in daily life, a fundamental equality of rights, opportunities and
acceptance of responsibilities; and
- the status and unique
identities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples
of Australia, and achieve recognition, respect and understanding in the wider
Essential actions include:
- Governments and their
agencies, legal, cultural and educational institutions, Indigenous organisations,
and the media work together to improve community awareness and appreciation
of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples with
distinct cultures, rights and status.
- All governments take
steps to ensure the recognition and protection of Indigenous intellectual
property as already occurs in some Commonwealth legislation.
- All governments ensure
their policies and practices observe Australia's international Indigenous
and human rights obligations.
- State and Territory
governments consider giving magistrates and judges the discretion to take
account of traditional laws in sentencing, as already occurs in some circumstances
in the Northern Territory.
- Governments establish
legislative processes to deal with the 'unfinished business' of reconciliation,
allowing for negotiated outcomes on matters such as Indigenous rights, self-determination
within the life of the nation, and constitutional reform.
- Government agencies,
legal institutions and educational organisations develop and promote community
awareness about the Constitution and its application in protecting the rights
of all Australians.
- Within the broader context
of future constitutional reform, the Commonwealth Parliament enacts legislation
for a referendum which seeks to:
- prepare a new preamble
to the Constitution which recognises the status of the first Australians;
- remove section 25
of the Constitution and introduce a new section making it unlawful to
adversely discriminate against any people on the grounds of race.
Strategy to Overcome Disadvantage
The National Strategy to
Overcome Disadvantage aims for a society where Aboriginal people and Torres
Strait Islanders enjoy a similar standard of living to that of other Australians,
without losing their cultural identity.
This strategy focuses on
education, employment, health, housing, law and justice. Priority must be given
to achieving comparable outcomes in health and education. Improvement in these
areas is critical to advancing reconciliation. It is important that no person
is disadvantaged by the inability of governments and service providers to communicate
and cooperate in the delivery of services.
Essential actions include:
- The Council of Australian
Governments (COAG) evaluates and updates its National Commitment to Improved
Outcomes in the Delivery of Programs and Services for Aboriginal Peoples and
Torres Strait Islanders, agreeing on a framework for all governments and the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) to:
- set program performance
benchmarks that are measurable, include timelines and are agreed in partnership
with Indigenous peoples and communities;
- ensure they have
the information systems necessary to monitor performance; and
- annually report their
performance to parliaments, councils and their constituents against these
- Every five years, the
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission works with ATSIC to prepare
an independent report on the nation's progress in addressing disadvantage.
PARTNERSHIPS AND WORKING
- Peak business and community
groups make commitments to overcome disadvantage, and encourage their members
to make similar commitments.
- Services are designed
and delivered in a way that is driven by local Indigenous people, strengthens
local communities, and forges social coalitions and equal partnerships, drawing
on and building the skills and resources of the community.
- Service providers, ATSIC
and governments identify and eliminate systemic discrimination and racism,
beginning with a review of their own practices.
- Governments adopt funding
arrangements that are flexible and sufficient to meet local needs, and enable
the pooling of funds across agencies and between the different levels of government.
- Employers link performance-based
salaries in all sectors to improvements in Indigenous outcomes, where appropriate.
COMMUNITY AND PERSONAL
- Indigenous communities,
families and individuals take more responsibility for addressing the causes
and consequences of disadvantage within their control.
- All Australians accept
the responsibility to learn more about the causes and extent of disadvantage
and reject racism and related behaviour.
National Strategy for Economic Independence
The National Strategy for
Economic Independence aims for a society where Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples and communities can share the same levels of economic independence
as the wider community.
For most Australians, pathways
to economic independence include getting a job and/or running a business.
In both of these cases,
an education substantially improves the likelihood of success.
This strategy is not for
everyone. For some, economic independence will be defined in terms of their
traditional economy and lifestyle.
Essential actions include:
ACCESS TO JOBS AND RESOURCES
- All employers establish
strategies for employing and training more Aboriginal people and Torres Strait
- Banks and other financial
institutions actively adopt culturally-responsive banking and financing regimes
and facilitate better access to capital.
- Governments increase
the value of Indigenous assets by legislating for Indigenous intellectual
property and cultural rights and by working in partnership with Indigenous
communities to protect biodiversity and rehabilitate and sustain lands and
waters under the control of those communities.
EFFECTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES
- Indigenous people and
communities develop their existing competitive advantages in respect of their
cultural assets and special knowledge of the land and the environment.
- Governments, ATSIC,
and the private sector all research and develop successful business models
that can be applied in regional and remote communities. Priority should be
given to developing commercial activities on Indigenous-owned land.
- Private-sector organisations
seek opportunities for joint ventures with Indigenous businesses. Governments
promote such joint ventures.
- Governments and industry
work in partnership with Indigenous communities to ensure their projects strengthen
Indigenous communities by supporting the local economy and enhancing regional
- Schools, TAFEs, universities
and other education providers, working with families, develop and implement
flexible programs to improve student attendance, retention rates, academic
results and career pathways.
- TAFEs and other vocational
education providers target their programs to the employment opportunities
in the local labour market, aiming for available jobs or business opportunities
on the completion of training programs and schemes.
- With local community
involvement, education providers, banks and other financial institutions develop
money-management programs that increase the capacity of people to plan, save
and invest in their future.
- Indigenous leaders actively
encourage their people to equip themselves with the skills, knowledge and
experiences that are valued in the local employment market.