In Australia, it is crucial that Aboriginal People and their Communities are involved in matters that affect them. This means that governments; Aboriginal Corporations; Corporate Businesses; and Others, that are focused on delivering services; programs; initiatives; and opportunities to Aboriginal People, must:
- Consult & Engage with Aboriginal People and Communities on the Ground;
- Partner with Aboriginal People and Organisations in the Communities; AND
- Work with Aboriginal People and Organisations to Empower the Communities from within.
In 1967, all Aboriginal People became Australian citizens. This was the first step in our history towards equality. Since then, Aboriginal people have become the most disadvantaged group of Australians in this country. We die at least 10 years earlier than other Australians.
In 1992, the High Court of Australia recognised that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples held laws and customs that gave them rights and interests to Australia that existed prior to British Settlement. This historic decision was the Mabo No. 2 decision. The Federal Government then introduced the Native Title Act 1993. Since then, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples have sought to be recognised by the Australian Government and to get a “seat at the table” on matters that affect their traditional lands. It is through Native Title that Australia started learning about the many separate Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Groups and cultures that exist here.
To be Australian, is to recognise and respect that this country’s identity cannot be separated from its rich Aboriginal cultures and heritage. Every Australian should be proud of our diverse and resilient Aboriginal cultures. Aboriginal cultures and heritage IS Australian culture and heritage and it is time that all Australians were offered opportunities to learn more about their country’s identity.
In 2017, Aboriginal People and their Communities WANT to be empowered to improve their health and wellbeing; educational outcomes; and community capacities.