This year, Reconciliation Australia marks 20 years of shaping Australia’s journey towards a more just, equitable and reconciled nation.
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey — the successful 1967 referendum and the 1992 High Court Mabo decision respectively.
Communities Assistant Director General for Aboriginal Outcomes, Jacqueline Littlejohn, is a proud Malgana Yamatji woman. When asked of the importance of reconciliation to her, Jacqueline said, “Reconciliation for me is about solidifying relationships and having reciprocal relationships with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. As a Department we need to commit to reconciliation not just in one week, or on one day, but all year in everything we do.
“I have team members that are Aboriginal and some that aren’t, so it’s about enabling them to understand what they don’t know. The easiest way for me to explain it is, for us as Aboriginal people we wake up and go to bed every day being an Aboriginal person, so…we never walk away from our job. We are our job 24/7, 365 days of the year.
“It's very hard being an Aboriginal person working in the Department, but ultimately we’re here to enable our people to be their best selves, to support Aboriginal people to have a fair and equitable space in WA – from children all the way through to adults – and to reconcile the past hurts and move forward together.
“I think there's a lot more that we can do, and our Director General is absolutely committed to that. The colleagues I sit with in the Communities Leadership Team are absolutely committed to that. But we recognise that we can't get there overnight. As we work toward a better future, I keep my eye on the prize – and that is to create a fair and equitable environment for all people, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.”
Department of Communities’ staff and members of the Aboriginal Cultural Council talk about what Reconciliation means to them in this video.