National Reconciliation Week 2019Zoe Simmons
Running from 27 May to 3 June, National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared Indigenous history, cultures and achievements. The week provides an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to share their stories and culture, allowing us to further foster positive cultural relations, as well as reflect, and come together to heal past historical wounds.
The week’s dates were chosen as they commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey—the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision.
What exactly is Reconciliation?
According to a 2016 State of Reconciliation in Australia report, there are five integral and interrelated dimensions for measuring reconciliation: historical acceptance, race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity and unity.
This year’s Reconciliation Week theme, Grounded in Truth: Walk Together with Courage, focuses on improving race relations. According to Reconciliation Australia, to foster positive race relations, our relationship must be grounded in truth.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have long called for a comprehensive process of truth telling about Australia’s colonial history, which has been characterised by devastating land dispossession, violence, and often overt and unapologetic racism,” – 2019 NRW guide.
Please see Reconciliation Australia for further information.
Cultural diversity at Forensicare
At Forensicare, we’re committed to providing culturally-appropriate health services that recognise the diverse backgrounds of our consumers. We work hard in our service areas to increase and improve links with Indigenous community controlled health organisations to ensure our services are culturally appropriate and acceptable.
Forensicare is also in the process of developing and implementing a Reconciliation Action Plan as a way of formalising goals and action plans to ensure accountability.
We were fortunate enough to have recently recruited a new Aboriginal Mental Health Trainee, Liam Flanagan. Liam’s role is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to implementing the Balit Murrup: Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing Framework. He is completing his traineeship within the Forensicare social work team while studying a Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health).
“This position is an Indigenous-identified position, which is a very big step for reconciliation, as we are making sure that we are helping our own people and communities,” Liam said.