25 May, 2021

NACCHO is Reconciliation in Action | National Reconciliation Week 2021

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) encourages all Australians to take time to reflect and talk to each other on the ways we can support Reconciliation in Australia.

NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills, says the extraordinary response by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and other Australians, during COVID to keep communities and Elders safe is Reconciliation in action.

“We have shown during these tough times that we can all do our part to protect our communities and the results speak for themselves. If we can work together as a nation to address the disparity across different areas, we can deliver on reconciliation outcomes and start Closing the Gap.

“We must put Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands! Until Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are fully engaged and have control over their health and wellbeing, any ‘refresh’ will be marginal at best and certainly won’t close the gap.”

Ms Mills further added, “Better outcomes for the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is Reconciliation in Action! Our 143 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, working hand-in-hand with other health services, governments, organisations and communities, to care for people and improve health outcomes, is reconciliation in action.”

NACCHO CEO Pat Turner is joining a panel discussion with Professor Sue Green for the Australian Association of Social Workers National Reconciliation Week webinar on Friday, 26 May.

Pat Turner stated, “This year’s theme is particularly important and aligns with how we can build on the momentum from the new National Agreement on Closing the gap negotiated and agreed between all Australian governments and a Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Peak Organisations to achieve reconciliation.

“The priority reforms in the National Agreement needs to be implemented and be part of the everyday workings of governments if they are to be effective – otherwise they will be just targets, something that governments continue to point to but don’t move the needle for our peoples.”

Ms Turner further added, “Whilst I remain hopeful for a reconciled nation and I acknowledge the journey to date, we still have a long way to go in Australia. Reconciliation requires action from each of us. Reconciliation is a practice, a daily practice.”

This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme, ‘More than a word, Reconciliation takes action’, encourages Australians, governments, and institutions to take continued action and commitment towards reconciliation.

~ END ~

Download full media release here.