Show Me The Way Blog

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Forum to build First Nations

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

The Australian National University (ANU) will host a major forum in July on national indigenous policies and governance. The forum will take in the lessons from First Nations around the world and including participation from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Federal politicians.

Director of ANU National Centre for Indigenous Studies Professor Mick Dodson said the historic event would work to provide solid policy options to help Australia advance indigenous governance, recognition and policies.

“The forum will consider the lessons learned from other jurisdictions such as New Zealand, Canada, the United States and Scandinavian countries,” Prof Dodson said.

The forum will include presentations by Aboriginal politicians Ken Wyatt, Linda Burney, Patrick Dodson and Malarndirri McCarthy.

Mr Wyatt encouraged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to attend to help inform the political, social and community agenda.

“What is important is how we become involved in all tiers of government, how we shape our direction and aspirations, how we influence people,” he said. “It is important for our future, it is important for the future of our children, and it is important for our longevity as the world’s oldest living culture.”

Ms Burney said the forum was a significant opportunity to put a wide range of ideas and collective experience on the table.

“We are going to examine what’s important for First Nations,” Ms Burney said. “Issues like agreement-making and treaties, issues about representations to parliament, issues about how we can affect and change the agenda for our people. Issues around recognition, constitutional reform and making sure we have a voice at the tables where decisions are made.”

The forum, to be held in Canberra’s Old Parliament House will involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders from around Australia as well as experts and representatives from First Nations peoples from other countries.

The Forum will build on extensive work already done, including the Report of the Expert Panel on Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution (2012), the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (2015), and the Uluru Statement of the Heart from 2017.

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way.


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