26th September, 2015

Dear Reconciliation Queensland Members

RQI is very fortunate in having the ongoing active support of our distinguished Co- Patrons The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO and Dr Jackie Huggins AM, and on behalf of the committee I wish to thank them for their commitment to Reconciliation over the past year.

I would like to thank the members of RQI’s Executive including the two Aboriginal Co-Chairs, Uncle Bill Buchanan and Aunty Heather Castledine who shared this role at different times over the past year. Thank you Linda Harnett our dedicated Secretary and Mick Bruhwiller our diligent Treasurer. I would also like to thank all other members of the RQI Management Committee for their commitment, support and efforts over the past 12 months.

The Year at a Glance

The past year has once again been a positive one for RQI as demonstrated by:

  • ongoing positive relationships with the Australian Government, the Queensland Government and many Regional Councils throughout Queensland.
  • RQI has retained a close day to day working relationship with Reconciliation Australia and other members of the Australian Reconciliation Network and with local Reconciliation support groups. Auntie Heather Castledine and RQI’s Cairns based committee member Brendan Leishman represented RQI at the October 2014 Round Table meeting which took place in Adelaide.
  • the RQI organisation has continued to maintained a sound financial position

In early 2015 members of the Reconciliation Queensland committee participated in developing a strategic plan under the guidance of committee member Neil Whiteman. The Plan is based on a framework which aligns the Vision, medium term Objectives and Strategies with the short term Actions. A set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) relating to each stakeholder group gauge the progress of RQI’s strategic plan.

The Vision and the Objectives are driven by the aspirations and needs of all of the stakeholder groups as identified by the Committee of RQI. Consequently, the framework promotes sustainability and calls for the implementation of a balanced set of Strategies and Actions. This plan will continue to undergo further development.

All activities undertaken by the Committee have been directed by the RQI Strategic Plan and the committee has once again remained flexible enough to take advantage of new opportunities over the past 12 months which fall within the Strategic Plan.

Over the past 12 months RQI has been successful in applying for several grants including a Community Services Grant from the Logan City Council, National Reconciliation Week project funding and funding through the RECOGNISE Campaign to implementing Phase 1 of a project to establish the Queensland Constitutional Recognition Coalition.

The RQI membership continues to evolve with new Organisation and Corporate Members and Individual Members. For each and every one of RQI’s members, Reconciliation carries unique meaning and interpretations.

Reconciliation Queensland supported and in many cases committee members carried out funded and non-funded activities and spoke at events for the purpose of raising awareness and community support for Reconciliation these include in the:

South East Queensland Region:

  • Noonga Reconciliation Group Inc. events
  • The Balaangala Community Reconciliation Group Inc. events
  • Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Group events
  • Australia Day Movie event at Broncos
  • Queensland Launch of National Reconciliation Week at Broncos
  • Boundary Street to Boundary Street Twilight Walk
  • ANZAC Square activities in Brisbane
  • Logan City Reconciliation Youth Summit
  • Songs of Peace in Logan City
  • Pacifica Festival in Logan,
  • Yarnin with Our Mob with Logan District Elders
  • Zest for Life festival at Kingston Butterfactory in Logan
  • Rwandan Festival,
  • Logan Central Library Session on “Whats Recognition”
  • Culture in the Park with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders youth in Logan city,
  • Churches together Reconciliation Service in Logan,
  • NAIDOC Week events and information stall
  • Attendance at the Reconciliation Australia and State Bodies Forums
  • Continuing liaison with Local Reconciliation Groups including Reading For Reconciliation
  • Bridge to Reconciliation Board Game sessions are still running
  • Reconciliation display stands at significant events
  • Attendance at the Reconciliation Australia and State Bodies Forums

Wide Bay Burnett Region:

  • Cherbourg Ration Shed Reconciliation Fun Run from Murgon to Cherbourg

Coral Coast Region:

  • Mackay/Whitsunday Regional National Reconciliation Week Event

Sunshine Coast Region:

  • Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Walk

North Queensland Region:

  • Townsville 2015 Indigenous Catholic Council Reconciliation Dinner

Far North Queensland Region:

  • Mossman National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week Celebrations

Reconciliation and Recognise information and material kits were also distributed to all attendees at these events.

The Reconciliation Queensland committee would like to thank and acknowledge our various partners who have supported the work of RQI over the past 12 months including – The Anti-Discrimination Commission ,Amnesty, ANTaR, Murri Watch, Brisbane City Council, Logan City Council, Logan District Elders, Balaangala Community Reconciliation Group., Noonga Reconciliation Group, Benarrawa Community Development Association, Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Group, the National Sorry Day Committee, QPAC and ACPA.

The RQI committee would like to publicly acknowledge and give a special thanks to our team of volunteers including Rachel Rolfe, our highly skilled designer and developer of promotional materials and the RQI web site developer.

Thanks also to Helen Carrick for her ongoing commitment to coordinating Reading for Reconciliation – which has now been operating for more than ten years.

The past year has been a successful one in terms of networking and corresponding with regional areas across Queensland and we particularly thank, Rosalie Raciti and other members of the committee for their tireless efforts in promoting Reconciliation throughout the State

And finally, thanks to the loyal RQI membership, who remain faithful to the process of Reconciliation in Queensland.

The task of sustaining our National diversity and moving forward beyond the divide remains one of our primary objectives. I ask you all to continue with us on that journey…

Yours in Reconciliation

Heather Castledine
Co-Chairperson (Indigenous), and

Peter Jackson
Co-Chairperson (Non-Indigenous)