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“The five pillars of reconciliation, as set out in detail in the report, give us a strong framework for attention. Action on these pillars can only be realised by being truthful; truthful to ourselves and truth-telling. That truth must begin by owning our personal biases, and confronting our nation’s collective racism, both overt and covert.
Bravery in the face of racism will be our change agent. Now is the time to take a deeply personal journey and have uncomfortable conversations. And we need to extend those conversations to those within our sphere of influence, both professionally and personally. We might feel a degree of safety when discussing our organisation’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), for instance, but are we prepared to step up our leadership roles, tackle racism head-on and drive a reconciled nation at the risk of losing the support of constituents, or shareholders, or colleagues along the way? Personal conversations are perhaps even harder to begin but are critically important.
Are you willing to challenge those you love despite the fear of losing their respect? Are you willing to risk social isolation or your popularity at the next dinner party because you’ve challenged a racist comment? When we dig deep, we will stand together once more, in the knowledge that we are a mature and courageous nation. And the rewards of our actions will enrich all Australians and our national identity. Brave is when we listen, challenge, and learn about ourselves and others. Brave is saying that you’re ready to delve into the very things that hold you together; your bias, beliefs and values. Brave is when you refuse to accept inertia.”
Shelley Reys AO 1 Chief Executive Officer, Arrilla Indigenous Consulting
The report draws on the views of key leaders of First Nations organisations and communities, and other key RA stakeholders;2 a series of practical examples of reconciliation in action;3 data from the Australian Reconciliation Barometer4 and desktop research undertaken by Reconciliation Australia.
It tracks our progress against the five dimensions of reconciliation and lays out some practical actions that need to be taken if we are to continue to progress the reconciliation process. Section 1 sets out how and why the reconciliation movement came about; articulating and explaining the five dimensions of the reconciliation framework.
Section 2 looks at where we are today and what progress we’ve made towards reconciliation, including since the 2016 State of Reconciliation in Australia Report was published. It uses a series of case studies to demonstrate in practical ways how progress can be achieved.
Section 3 discusses where we need to get to in the future, and how we can get there. It looks at what we need to start or keep doing to meet our reconciliation goals.