National Reconciliation Week Statement
The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia has marked Reconciliation Week by calling on all Australians to develop and nurture a deep respect for the First Peoples of this land.
National President, Anthony Thornton said that Reconciliation can only be achieved where there is justice.
The St Vincent de Paul Society is a strong advocate of Indigenous self-determination and believes that policies and programmes affecting the lives of Australia’s First Peoples will only have lasting value if they are developed and controlled by the First Peoples themselves.
“What we don’t support is the imposition of punitive policy frameworks such as the Stronger Futures Legislation that includes Compulsory Income Management and School Education Attendance Measures (SEAM),” Mr Thornton said.
“We respectfully acknowledge and support the voices of the First Peoples. Many feel that they are unheard by both Government and Opposition. We must all recognise the violence that has been visited upon Indigenous Peoples. In National Reconciliation Week we re-state our commitment to stand in solidarity with all who have experienced injustice and inequality.
This National Reconciliation Week coincides with the historic 20th anniversary of the High Court Mabo decision and the ongoing campaign to recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.