Common Questions

What is Acknowledgement of Country?

Respect and acknowledgement are common conventions in Australian public life. As a sign of respect to the traditional custodians of this land, more and more speakers at public events are opening their addresses with an ‘Acknowledgement of Country’.An ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ simply recognises the particular Aboriginal country on which a meeting takes place and shows consideration to the traditional custodians of that country. An Acknowledgement of Country can be offered by anyone to show respect for a specific place and [...]

What is Acknowledgement of Country?2020-05-01T14:42:53+10:00

Do Indigenous Australians face discrimination in the legal system?

In 1987, Australia’s Prime Minister Bob Hawke announced the establishment of a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody to investigate the deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had died in custody since 1980. The inquiry was established in large part due to the public education and lobbying efforts of the National Committee to Defend Black Rights, the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Watch Committee, family members of people who had died in custody, and many civil rights [...]

Do Indigenous Australians face discrimination in the legal system?2020-05-01T14:41:15+10:00

Why is there an Indigenous health crisis in Australia?

The following is extracted from ANTaR’s Indigenous Health Rights Action Kit (2004), which is based on research by the Australian Medical Association, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the United Nations Human Development Report, as well as other sources (see reference below). Long-term global research by the United Nations World Health Organisation shows that living circumstances and quality of life are the fundamentals of health and life expectancy for all people, regardless of their culture or location. The UN research [...]

Why is there an Indigenous health crisis in Australia?2020-05-01T14:39:13+10:00

Who are Indigenous Australians?

The term ‘Indigenous Australians’ refers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the original people of mainland Australia and the islands of the Torres Strait north of Queensland. In 2005 the Indigenous Australian population was estimated to be 492,700 people, which comprises 2.4% of the total Australian population. The Indigenous Australian population is relatively young, with a median age of 21 years, compared to 36 years for the non-Indigenous population. In 2001, [...]

Who are Indigenous Australians?2020-05-01T14:35:00+10:00

What are the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander flags?

The Aboriginal flag is divided horizontally into equal halves of black (top) and red (bottom), with a yellow circle in the centre. The black symbolises Aboriginal people and the yellow represents the sun, the constant renewer of life. Red depicts the earth and also represents ochre, which is used by Aboriginal people in ceremonies. Designed by Harold Thomas, the flag was first flown at Victoria Square in Adelaide on National Aborigines’ Day on 12 July 1971. It was [...]

What are the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander flags?2020-05-01T14:33:42+10:00

What can I do to support reconciliation?

Join and support your local reconciliation group (see for local group details in NSW) or volunteer at Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) Listen, listen, listen. Never speak for Aboriginal people. Become informed and promote cultural and factual awareness. Persistently challenge racist and ignorant comments. Join a Study Circle or an Aboriginal Studies course at your local community college. Participate in Journey of Healing or Sea of Hands events. Support Aboriginal Colleges, Theatres, Dance Groups, Authors, [...]

What can I do to support reconciliation?2020-05-01T14:27:36+10:00

What is a treaty? Do we need one?

Treaties with Indigenous people were a common part of the European colonisation process. The British concluded treaties in New Zealand and with many First Nation groups in Canada and the United States. Treaties recognised sovereignty, prior rights, and sought to clarify fundamental issues in relationships between the colonised and colonisers. During the whole process of colonisation, neither Britain nor colonial authorities ever concluded a formal treaty or agreement with the traditional owners of Australia. Indeed, Australia is the only [...]

What is a treaty? Do we need one?2020-05-01T14:26:47+10:00

What is the Local Government in our area doing in support of Reconciliation?

Founded in 2000, the Reconciliation Network: Northern Sydney Region (RNNSR) comprises representatives of Northern Sydney Reconciliation organisations including LRGs, plus Indigenous Services & Networks and Local Governments & Community Support Groups. RNNSR provides a forum for members and guests to meet together to discuss and act on matters related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, to social justice and the truth-telling of Australian history. RNNSR appreciates the partnership and support of all nine Northern Sydney Local Councils and [...]

What is the Local Government in our area doing in support of Reconciliation?2020-05-01T14:26:05+10:00

What is Aboriginal Reconciliation?

Reconciliation is about understanding how history has shaped the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and developing more harmonious and cooperative relations for the future. This includes addressing longstanding inequities and disadvantages experienced by Indigenous people, promoting respect for Indigenous cultures, and giving greater recognition to Indigenous aspirations. Reconciliation is important not only to Indigenous people but also to Australia's future as a cohesive nation. The process of reconciliation formally began in 1991 as the result of the recommendations [...]

What is Aboriginal Reconciliation?2020-05-01T14:25:22+10:00
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