CAIRNS first reconciliation forum to represent regional issues to a national conversation drew over seventy from across indigenous, non-indigenous, government and corporate communities during National Reconciliation Week to elect a team to drive the vision forward.
Reconciliation Queensland was in Cairns to facilitate the public nominations, from a full reception room in equal attendance by local indigenous groups and other Cairns community members.
The purpose of the forum to form Cairns Area Local Reconciliation Group, will settle a local charter and decide key regional issues and interests, towards recognising Australia’s indigenous in the Constitutional process, and a future Treaty.
“Reconciliation is not about Native Title,” said Reconciliation Queensland representative Uncle Bill Buchanan. “It’s about unresolved matters, the history of the nation, it’s the responsibility of the region to join this conversation”.
“Cairns is a mixed nation, of ‘refugees’ from all our indigenous communities – whether they were brought here, or came here trying to get a job, to build a better life, the first step in this whole process is reconciling differences between indigenous groups”.
Jointly organised by My Pathway, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland, and Central Queensland University, Reconciliation Queensland recognised many local organisations and businesses actively supporting reconciliation attended the 30 May forum.
Held at Pullman International Cairns Hotel, the reconciliation action forum drew representatives from Queensland Police, justice groups and other government and community organisations.
Ten representatives from Cairns regional traditional owner groups, business and community organisations nominated as interim committee of the new action group.
“A Reconciliation Action Group in the Cairns region will play a role in supporting existing reconciliation initiatives and encourage further partnerships between our First Peoples and non-indigenous Australians toward reconciliation,” said Reconciliation Australia Director, and Director of My Pathway, Kenny Bedford.
All other regional government areas are invited to form local reconciliation groups for state and national actions.
Photo: My Pathway