Reconciliation in Parliament
Reconciliation in Parliament is a program of events that have been hosted by Reconciliation NSW and held at NSW Parliament since 2006. The program aims to continue the NSW Parliament’s bi-partisan commitment to reconciliation.
The events provide an opportunity for parliamentarians to hear the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on issues that affect them, and to provide a forum for positive dialogue. The Reconciliation in Parliament series has profiled a number of key issues in NSW, such as youth incarceration, stolen wages, housing, healing through language and culture, and treaty and agreement making.
Reconciliation in Parliament 2021 – “250 Years of Epidemics: A Case of Resilience for the First Peoples of NSW.” A focus on the concept of truth telling about our shared history, with a historical look at epidemics and disease in NSW (from first contact through more recent protectionist history), into the present, highlighting what works to improve the socio-cultural determinants of health (COVID 19 community responses as an example of success and self-determination).
Reconciliation in Parliament 2018 – “Treaty and agreement making options for NSW.” The Uluru Statement from the Heart called for a Makarrata Commission that would drive treaty and agreement making. Treaty-making has been clearly and consistently communicated as a significant aspiration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and a reflection of rights to sovereignty and self-determination. Indigenous experts discuss what a treaty might look like in NSW and what agreement making actually means for government and community.
In 2015 the Reconciliation in Parliament event was a panel discussion and Q&A session on the topics of language, culture and healing. The panelists were the Hon Leslie Williams MP, NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs; the Hon Linda Burney MP, Deputy Opposition Leader; Aden Ridgeway from The Healing Foundation; Diane McNaboe, Wiradjuri language teacher and expert; and Shane Philips, from the Tribal Warrior Association.
Excerpts from Reconciliation in Parliament 2018:
• Anthony McAvoy SC, Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional owner, Senior Counsel and Native Title Law Expert
• Jill Gallagher AO, Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner
• Dr Maria Bargh, Head of Te Kawa a Maui School of Maori Studies
• Professor Larissa Behrendt, Professor University of Technology Sydney and
Director of Research at Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research
• James Christian, CEO, NSW Aboriginal Land Council