Today the NationalAustralia Day Council launches our third Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The plan is our statement of commitment to work towards reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples and the wider Australian community to enrich the lives of all Australians.
The NADC’s approach to Reconciliation is one of leadership. We recognise that some ATSI people and some non-ATSI Australians may have mixed feelings about celebrating this day. January 26 has multiple meanings: it is Australia Day and it is also, for some, Survival Day or Invasion Day. The NADC acknowledges that the date brings a mixture of celebration and mourning and we believe that the programs presented by the NADC should play a powerful and positive role in advancing Reconciliation.
The NADC believes that our national day should be authentic and mature where we can celebrate and mourn at the same time. We can honour all that is great about Australia and being Australian, remember the sufferings and our shortcomings and commit to build a more cohesive and inclusive nation. We do so with an underlying spirit of optimism.
We believe that the NADC’s programs play an important role in the symbolic aspects of Reconciliation. Acknowledging the contribution of ATSI people and their cultures to our past, present and future:
- offers an appropriate mark of respect on the national day;
- nurtures pride amongst ATSI peoples and all Australians; and
- raises awareness of the issues that still challenge the nation, such as the life expectancy gap between ATSI Australians and the wider community.
You can view the RAP here.