CEO & Reconciliation

In November 1998 the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) launched a statement entitled Educating for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation: A New Partnership with Indigenous Peoples of Australia.

The Commission articulated a vision for Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples of Australia.

We call upon the Church - her people, her leaders and her children, to listen with new ears, to see with new eyes, what always was and what always will be - to be awakened to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders lifeways, cultures and spiritualities.

Within this vision certain challenges for education in furthering Reconciliation were outlined. These included:

  • Communication strategies based on mutual respect and negotiation
  • Improving relationships to develop trust between cultural groups
  • Countering racism and liberating people from ignorance and prejudice to promote relationships in harmony with Gospel values
  • Addressing disadvantage
  • Looking to a deeper understanding of our shared history
  • Reading the signs of the times and discerning local community action
  • Restoring relationships and seeking forgiveness were necessary

In summary the NCEC statement posits:

Reconciliation is about building a new relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and the wider community, one that heals the pain of the past and ensures we all share fairly and equally in our national citizenship.

Similarly the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation has a vision for:

A united Australia which respects this land of ours; values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage; and provides justice and equity for all.

In January 2001 the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation will cease its work. Corroboree 2000 held in Sydney on 27-28 May 2000 gave renewed impetus to the Reconciliation process as a peoples movement.

Reconciliation, It' s up to us will be the call of the Council when it ceases. Communities across Australia will then be charged with the ongoing work of achieving Reconciliation.

The Catholic Education Office Melbourne, wishes to contribute Yarra Healing to the Reconciliation process.