Aftercare acknowledges that it has throughout its history not responded sufficiently to the injustice and trauma sustained by Aboriginal Peoples since white settlement.
We confess that we have failed to emphatically challenge government policies which caused pain and irreplaceable loss for many Aboriginal people.
We reaffirm the validity of the Statement of Reconciliation.
- The diversity and unique position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of Australia and the islands of the Torres Strait, in accordance with local Indigenous laws and customs.
- That connection to the land sustains contemporary Indigenous cultures, languages, art, spirituality, laws and customs.
- The historical and ongoing impact on the lives and futures of Aboriginal Australians of the political, social and economic process of colonisation.
- The fundamental importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures to the heritage and identity of Australia, and the valuable and dynamic contribution of Indigenous people.
- The human right of Indigenous Australian Peoples to self-determination, to equitable participation in the community and equitable access to resources and services.
- The significance of Aftercare’s role in the reconciliation process in building an informed and mature society that acknowledges the past, understands the quintessential connection between the past and present, and is committed to ethical action, social justice and human rights.
- That reconciliation, in practice, is a shared responsibility requiring commitment to a whole-of-organisation approach and active engagement with the Aboriginal community.
- The distinctiveness of Aboriginal Peoples culture.
- The need to raise awareness, and to challenge and educate our staff and community regarding the experiences and issues faced by Aboriginal Peoples.
- Facilitate the training and development of present and future Aboriginal staff.
- Identify and nurture key Aboriginal staff to become leaders.
- Facilitate the training and development of present and future staff of all backgrounds to ensure awareness and understanding of the diverse experiences of Aboriginal Peoples.
- Foster solidarity with Aboriginal People and respond with empowering services and programs adapted to their needs and aspirations.
- Actively implement holistic support and integrated care.
- Recognise corporately, national Aboriginal Peoples events such as National Day of Healing, NAIDOC week.
- Listen to, stand with and support Aboriginal People in matters of social justice.
- Be open to Aboriginal Peoples culture, and celebrate those aspects that enrich our life.
A Statement of Reconciliation: Aftercare and Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
At this time in our nation’s history, Aftercare pledges to continue to move together in reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in a spirit of true community and citizenship.
- That the original people of this land have been denied the full extent of their birthright, in terms of personal dignity, adequate health, and a place to ‘grow’ as people.
- That Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People were not previously accepted as citizens and this action causes stigma and difficulty for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People accessing mainstream services within health, housing and general care.
- That although with good intentions and integrity the Australian government failed to acknowledge the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in regards to consulting and decision making in terms of their cultures and customs.
- That Australia’s Aboriginal People have sustained grievous and unacceptable discrimination throughout these latter years of their vast history. Still inadequately addressed are issues such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in custody and the impact it has on them mentally, physically and culturally.
- That laws policies and legislations were passed in the best Interests of the Aboriginal People and communities though it is evident that some of these require improvement or change to meet civil and cultural requirements. The separation of children from their families is a case in point.