The keynote speaker at a reconciliation conference says there is “still a long way to go” before Australia becomes a more equitable country.
More than 370 people – including Indigenous leaders, academics and representatives from NGOs – have gathered in Melbourne for the National Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
The two-day conference aims to provide a framework for more than 1000 organisations to support the reconciliation movement.
Jackie Huggins, co-chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, said that governments need to listen “a lot” more.
“It’s been a very difficult year in terms of change of governments and politicians but nevertheless the reconciliation movement will still go on,” she told NITV.
“It’s still as vibrant as [when] I was first involved 30 years ago with it.”
Dr Huggins pointed to family violence, health, housing, education, and Indigenous over-representation in the prison system as major issues to be addressed.
“We need to look at all those issues and work on them together through the reconciliation process,” she said.
She said that the solutions lay in governments working more closely with Aboriginal community organisations and institutions to find solutions.
“Aboriginal people are still not being heard or listened to. We only need to look at the stats and incarceration rates."