Reconciliation is everyone’s business
How you can contribute to change right now, and why it’s important that you do.
6 minute read
National Reconciliation Week 2022 have shared a number ways for all of us to get involved. Here are just a few.
1. Tell the truth on racism
There has been a lot of conversation around racism, especially in the past two years. Thankfully, people are becoming more comfortable to call out racism when they witness it. However, there are still a few morons out there. It Stops with Me is a great resource to help show you ways to deal with racism when you encounter it.
2. Acknowledge Country
Acknowledging the traditional owners of the land we live and work on is an important mark of respect and shows awareness of First Nations people being the custodians of the land. It’s respectful to acknowledge this in meetings, at events, on emails and prominently in your office space. It’s always good to personalise your Acknowledgment of Country, but you can find the basics here.
3. Get your facts first-hand
Make a point of watching and listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island media. First Nations Media is a good place to start. You’ll find sources of truth to help you get a fuller understanding of the issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and information on what you can do to combat these.
4. Fight for justice
This is potentially one of the most confronting facts. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the most incarcerated people in the world, proportionately. The flow-on effect of this destroying families is just as shocking. It is something that has to change. There are a number of ways to take action, including via Change the Record, Raise the Age and Family Matters
5. Get reconciliation into schools
There was barely an utterance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in schools when I was growing up and even now, acknowledgment is inadequate. If you’ve got kids at school, see how you can get them to embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history through Narragunnawali and Learn our Truth
6. Learn your local history
Read, listen and research to find out more about your local history. There are likely to be incredibly difficult things to hear involving massacres, forced removals, cultural genocide. It’s important that people know and hear these stories to begin to understand our shared history and why there is a lot of work to do to achieve reconciliation.
7. Be a brave ally
First Nations peoples make up just 3% of the population, so it is incredibly important not just to be an ally, but a good ally, as an intention is not enough. Don’t speak on behalf of First Nations people. Get into the community and find the people who can tell their own stories and speak on behalf of themselves. Do more than participating in a NAIDOC morning tea or sharing Aboriginal dreaming stories. Confront and support the tougher issues too. For example, Change the Record which sets out to end the incarceration of, and family violence against, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
8. Support Blak Business
For so many years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, culture and businesses have been exploited. It’s vital that you purchase Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander art and products and services only from Indigenous owned businesses. Supply Nation is Australia’s leading database of verified Indigenous-owned. Their aim is to create a culture where ideas flourish and people work together to transform the Indigenous business sector – making a true difference.
9. Prioritise cultural safety
15% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to feel they cannot be true to their cultures at work1. You can take action here by proactively undertaking cultural awareness training. This will help you learn about (and understand) cultural safety and inclusive practices in your life and work. You can find a facilitator through Supply Nation.
10. Reconciliation at work
By starting a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), businesses can take action to advance reconciliation and make their workplace a better place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. There are four types of RAPs: Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate. Each stage helps organisations continuously develop their reconciliation commitments. If your business doesn’t have a RAP, lead the way in getting a group together to start the process. If your business does, then see how you can get involved in ensuring your business achieves the actions it has committed to.