I am writing this from the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation who I acknowledge and thank as the traditional owners of this land.
Reconciliation requires action from all Australians!
This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme (27 May to 3 June) invites us to “Be Brave. Make Change”, and urges the reconciliation movement toward braver and more impactful change. Reconciliation commits to work to ensure that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples live freely, equally, and with dignity and respect; recognised as the First Peoples of this land, with their cultures and languages protected and honoured.
Reconciliation is a shared responsibility, and we must all do our part to nurture and inspire a collective recognition of the histories, cultures, traditions and futures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Reconciliation week is a call to action for all of us to have the difficult conversations, be brave, actively listen and take real action toward a just, equitable and reconciled Australia.
Last week in his first press conference, the new Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, made a historic change to the format: prior to addressing the room, two of the three Australian flags from the stage backdrop were removed and replaced with the Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait Island flag. In his first address, the Prime Minister promised to "embrace the Uluru Statement from the Heart"—calling for a permanent forum of representation from which First Nations can advocate for their peoples to the Parliament and Government. This is a welcome and positive start to the new Albanese Labour Government, but we recognise there is much more work to do from both the Government, and all Australian communities, to ensure Reconciliation is truly achieved, and sustained.
I am proud to be leading an organisation that is committed to making a difference and delivering brave, impactful change across diverse communities, especially for cohorts traditionally unrepresented or under-represented. The team at SSE works tirelessly every day to deliver impact and educate our clients, partners and ourselves to Be Brave, Make Change, and ensure that our next generation of leaders strive closer to genuine and sustainable reconciliation.
This National Reconciliation week I encourage you all to be brave, make change, and re-imagine a better future for our Country.
Dr Sarah Jones
Chief Executive Officer