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.  These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

This year’s National Reconciliation Week’s 2018 theme, “Don’t keep history a mystery: Learn. Share. Grow.” resonates for QCDFVR when we consider the relationship between past colonisation and contemporary violence.

It is now more than a week since we gathered in Townsville for the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum.  The celebration that is the Forum brings together women and men from communities in diverse locations, many of which are remote and isolated, and acknowledges the courage and determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

At the end of Domestic Violence Prevention Month, we at QCDFVR now recognise the importance of National Reconciliation Week in the context of the major challenges that confront workers in domestic and family violence services.  We cannot deny that many of these challenges have their roots in past policies and practices which disenfranchised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples… sadly there is little mystery in this history.

Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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