National Reconciliation Week 2023

National Reconciliation Week 2023

First Nations

The St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia urges all Australians to embrace this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme to Be a Voice for Generations.

‘As we approach the historic referendum on recognition of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, it is critical that all Australians be a voice for reconciliation for the benefit of future generations and a fairer Australia,’ National President Mark Gaetani said.

‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are over-represented in almost all of our services, reflecting the challenges they experience from historic and contemporary injustices.

‘Government interventions have repeatedly failed because they have been developed without deep listening to First Nations people.

‘It is time to listen and to put Indigenous voices at the heart of the Australian Government’s policies and programs that impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,’ Mr Gaetani said.

The St Vincent de Paul Society has supported Australians in need for almost 170 years.

‘We have learnt, sometimes through painful experience, that respectfully listening to people is fundamental to understanding them and their needs, and to delivering assistance that works and maintains their dignity,’ Mr Gaetani said.

‘The Voice will do this on a national scale.

‘Enshrining a Voice in the Constitution is so important because it will mean that the Australian people have accepted the generous invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart to walk with First Nations people to work towards recognition, reconciliation and justice,’ said Mr Gaetani.

To support community discussion during National Reconciliation Week, the Society has released an updated First Nations Policy Platform.

‘National Reconciliation Week provides a welcome opportunity for all Australians to learn about, and value, our histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how as individuals and a community we can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia,’ Mr Gaetani said.

‘The Society’s First Nations policy platform sets out the key reforms needed to support recognition, reconciliation and justice for Indigenous Australians,’ Mr Gaetani said.

The Society supports: 

  • the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full, including constitutional recognition
  • funding of, and commitment to, Closing the Gap targets by all governments
  • raising the age of criminal responsibility
  • community-led policies on justice reinvestment and keeping children safe, with ongoing funding.

For more information, visit www.svdp.org.au

MEDIA CONTACT DETAILS: MOB: 0475 068 209 | E: media@svdp.org.au