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.

Past Reconciliation in Parliament events:

Reconciliation in Parliament 2023 – Empowering the Voice and Supporting First Nations Communities in NSW

Kishaya Delaney (Wiradjuri), Bridget Cama (Wiradjuri) and Corey Smith (Ngemba), formed a panel to speak about the Towards Truth project, a data base and website which thoroughly scrutinises laws and policies that have impacted First Nations Peoples since colonisation. The project demonstrates clearly and without ambiguity what happens when laws and policies are made for and about First Nations peoples without their input. Through their research, a clear need for an Indigenous Voice enshrined into the constitution is highlighted.

*Reconciliation NSW thanks the Yes Alliance Capacity Fund, a sub fund of Australian Communities Foundation for their support for printing and mailing of information materials, social media communications, and volunteers to educate the public about the Referendum in 2023.

Reconciliation in Parliament 2023 – Schools Reconciliation Challenge 2022 Exhibition: Celebrating Reconciliation in Education 

Stakeholders of Reconciliation NSW’s premiere program, The Schools Reconciliation Challenge and Members of Parliament came together to celebrate the success of the program. Guests heard from finalist students about the impact of the program and were able to view the vibrant and innovative pieces from finalist students’ who demonstrate a critical understanding of reconciliation through their art.

Reconciliation in Parliament 2022 – NSW Leaders in Conversation

Aboriginal leaders from our state came together to unpack the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The leaders discussed what true reconciliation looks like and how Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people can contribute to the future. The panel included City of Sydney Councillor Yvonne Weldon, Uluru dialogues leader Geoff Scott, and Indigenous Co-Chair of Reconciliation NSW Joshua Gilbert.

Reconciliation in Parliament 2021 – 250 Years of Epidemics: A Case of Resilience for the First Peoples of NSW

A focussed panel discussion 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).

The Parliamentary host for the event is The Hon. Trevor Khan MLC (NSW Nationals).  With Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC (NSW Labor) he hosts the Parliamentary Friends of Reconciliation group, currently made up of 23+ MPs from all sides of politics.

Moderator: Dr. Summer May Finlay (Yorta Yorta). The Panel: Associate professor Megan Williams, Assistant Director and Research Lead, National Centre for Cultural Competence, Sydney University (Wiradjuri); Dr. Peter Malouf, Executive Director of Operations, Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council for NSW (Wakka Wakka and Wuli Wuli); Robert Cooley, Senior Ranger, Gamay Botany Bay Rangers ( La Perouse community member with connections to South Coast of NSW).

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.

The host, Professor Larissa Behrendt, University of Technology Sydney and Director at Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research spoke with panellists: 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; James Christian, CEO, NSW Aboriginal Land Council. This was recorded as part of Speaking Out with Larissa Behrendt.

Reconciliation in Parliament 2016 – Justice Reinvestment in NSW

Reconciliation in Parliament 2015 – Aboriginal healing through language and cultureThe panellists 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.

Reconciliation in Parliament 2014 –Creating Safer Communities: Justice Reinvestment through a collective impact approach

Reconciliation in Parliament 2011 – The Changing Face of Redfern

Reconciliation in Parliament 2009 – Tranby: A Success Story in Education and Reconciliation

Reconciliation in Parliament 2008 – Reparation for the Stolen Wages

Reconciliation in Parliament 2007 – Aboriginal Housing

Reconciliation in Parliament 2006 – Meeting the Indigenous Health Challenge – Everybody’s Business. Speakers included: Professor Judy Atkinson Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Southern Cross University, Dixie Gordon Black Out Violence, Christine Robinson CEO, Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre, Professor Ken Wyatt Director, Aboriginal Health, NSW Department of Health.


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