A referendum in 1967 recognized Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as citizens in their own land. The landmark Mabo decision of the High Court created much division as Australians strived to evaluate the past with honesty and chart the future with integrity.
In 2007 a political consensus began to encourage a First Nations voice in the Australian Constitution, followed soon by the parliamentary Apology to the Stolen Generations.
The Referendum Council was established in 2015 by both sides of politics, giving birth to the Uluru Statement of the Heart. This calls for constitutionally entrenched voice to Parliament, and a Makarrata Commission to oversee a process of treaty-making and truth-telling. Makarrata is the Arnhem Land Yolngu process of honestly coming together after a struggle to live again in peace.
In 2001, then Governor General William Dean prophetically stated that until reconciliation is achieved, Australia will be a diminished nation.
In June Prime Minister Albanese has reconfirmed his support for this process as we commemorate another National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Celebration (NAIDOC).
Sawtell Catholic Care is passionately committed to the process of makarrata with the first peoples of this land in our mission and outreach.