News

27/05/18

G+T celebrates National Reconciliation Week 2018

Gilbert + Tobin will celebrate National Reconciliation Week (NRW) from 27 May to 3 June. During this week we reflect on our national identity and the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and rights in Australia’s story.

In keeping with this year's theme ‘Don't Keep History a Mystery’, G+T has planned three special events:

  • A bush food tasting with Sharon Windsor from Indigiearth, featuring guest speaker Harley Windsor, 2018 Winter Olympian and the first Aboriginal person to represent Australia in a Winter Olympics
  • A screening of "In my own words" (2016), an award winning documentary on the impacts of the Literacy for Life program in Brewarrina, with an introduction and Q&A with Professor Jack Beetson, founder of The Literacy for Life Foundation, an organisation that tackles low adult literacy in Australia's Aboriginal communities, and
  • A tour of Barangaroo Headland organised by Aboriginal Cultural Tours and led by renowned environmental educator, Clarence Slockee.

This year, Reconciliation Week coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a constitutional convention bringing together over 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders who met at the foot of Uluru in Central Australia on the lands of the Aṉangu people.

The majority resolved, in the Uluru Statement, to call for the establishment of a ‘First Nations Voice’ in the Australian Constitution and a ‘Makarrata Commission’ to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

G+T Managing Partner Danny Gilbert has strongly backed the Uluru Statement since it was released to the public on 26 May 2017.

In his 2017 Constitutional Recognition speech, Danny said there were two standout reasons why Constitutional Recognition is so important to Indigenous people, “The first is to correct the barefaced wrongs of the 1901 Constitution and then the shortcomings of the 1967 Referendum. The second is to give Indigenous people a stronger say in how the nation treats them and makes decisions about them.”

Speaking in a radio interview last week with ABC 702 journalist Cassie McCullagh, Danny reiterated his calls for Constitutional Recognition, stating, “I think that it is just unacceptable that our founding document contains no admission of Indigenous people, except in very negative ways. And that history, their culture, their languages, who they were is deserved of recognition in our national document.”

He said Constitutional recognition cannot be symbolic, it must be substantive and it must be structural. “Policies from the past have failed. We have to somehow guarantee a better and more meaningful voice for Indigenous Australians about the very issues that touch their lives, their cultures, and their future existence, and the role that they are going to play in this nation of ours.”

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