There’s no single strand to reconciliation and it is not an easy or straightforward process. What is clear however is that reconciliation is everyone’s business. It’s about building better relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community for the benefit of all Australians. If we are to improve these relationships we need more Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander people and people from the wider community talking together about the issues and coming up with innovative ways to create positive change for the community.
The 1991 Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody marked the start of the formal reconciliation process. The Royal Commission recommended that all political leaders and their parties recognise that reconciliation between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians must be achieved if community division, discord and injustice to Indigenous Australians were to be avoided.
Soon after, the Commonwealth Parliament voted unanimously to establish the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation which was tasked with promoting reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community.
The Parliament noted that there had been no formal process of reconciliation to date, and that it was “most desirable that there be such a reconciliation” by the year 2001—the centenary of Federation. This was the beginning of a formal process of reconciliation.
In 2008 Port Macquarie-Hastings Council signed a Statement of Commitment and Reconciliation and in doing so endorsed and implemented the Aboriginal Reconciliation Action Plan 2008 - 2012 (RAP). This action plan consisted of 3 strategies and 32 actions.
It included a Statement of Reconciliation and Commitment which recognised that the original occupants of this land lived in the area for more than 40,000years. Port Macquarie-Hastings Council also recognises that Aboriginal culture continues to strengthen and enrich the community and that people are drawn from many different lands who share the values of tolerance and respect of one another and now occupy the area.
As a leader of the community Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, has pledged to stop injustices and overcome disadvantage within its area of jurisdiction in an effort to bring about a local government area which is recognised for its valuing of the community and its history and in the provision of justice and equity for all.
This page was last updated on: 06 May 2015