On Saturday 15 March, four RQI Committee Members and and three other friends/partners went along to help out at the Harmony Day Celebration at Robelle Domain Parklands. Committee Member Rosalie Raciti was asked to make a brief three minute presentation. Rosalie spoke about the concept of Reconciliation:

Reconciliation involves building positive, respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other people living in Australia. Reconciliation is about harmony and understanding. Reconciliation is about closing the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and other Australians.

Historically, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were removed from their cultures, removed from their families, removed from the lands and seas that were so much a part of their lives. They were forced to speak English and were punished for speaking their own languages and punished for practicing their culture through dance and corroboree.

Today, Reconciliation is about acknowledging Australia’s past history and working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to ensure that culturally appropriate training programs are available to Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Australians, to ensure that employment opportunities follow training programs, to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in mainstream businesses, to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander managed businesses.

Reconciliation is about rejecting racism and embracing respect, and recognising this country’s First Australians.

Other media about Harmony Day Celebration 2014

Quest news article about the Harmony Day Celebration

National Close the Gap Day & Harmony Day address by the Hon Shayne Neumann MP, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Shadow Minister for Ageing