A reconciled Australia: Our Indigenous peoples understood, recognised and respected
Imagine a future where the cultures, histories and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are understood, recognised and respected.
A future where all Indigenous peoples flourish and have the freedom to share their culture, customs and stories with all Australians.
Reconciliation Australia’s, “State of Reconciliation in Australia Report”, published in 2016 marked 25 years since the establishment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. It charts the progress made as a direct result of practical measures taken by government, business and community. The report reminds us of the significant challenges Indigenous Australians face and the unacceptable gaps that still exist across health, education and employment and highlights the complexities, deeply sensitive and emotive elements of the reconciliation journey.
At KPMG, our vision for every Indigenous Australian is to have equal opportunity to live and plan a positive future for themselves, their families and communities.
Australia cannot reach its full potential until we address the inequality of opportunity and outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. But this will only happen when we recognise our shared history and strive for equality by acknowledging their inequality.
Today we launch our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2017-2020. Our second elevate RAP presents not only our plan to accelerate our efforts in supporting Indigenous economic empowerment, but also our focus on recognising and promoting the rights of the First Australians; empowering leadership for reconciliation. A reconciled future demands all Australians respect and acknowledge the past and act, beyond mere ambition, to build capacity, leadership and optimism.
Our RAP is a reflection of our decade long reconciliation journey – a journey of which we are immensely proud. We have forged deep relationships with our Indigenous partners, organisations and communities and learnt much about the history, rich culture and traditions of the First Australians. At times, we are confronted by the challenge and complexity involved in addressing Indigenous social and economic disadvantage. However, we are motivated by the resilience and uniqueness of Indigenous Australians.
As we journey towards reconciliation we see the progress when businesses and communities work together. Through our focus on positive economic empowerment, we see Indigenous organisations and individuals grow and thrive. These social and economic benefits trickle through to communities; inspiring organisations and individuals to do more, strive for more, and grow in confidence as they determine and create their own futures.
We are encouraged by our progress and are driven to do more.
The path to reconciliation is found through a combination of practical and symbolic measures. History talks to the power of symbolism in advancing real practical change and we will continue to support the Recognise Campaign.
Our role is not to determine the future of Indigenous peoples rather to partner and support them.
Reconciliation is a journey of lifelong learning for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. By working together our vision can become a reality.