At the Lord Mayor’s welcome to FECCA 2019 at Hobart Town Hall, FECCA Chairperson Mary Patetsos told the assembled delegates that those who work in the field of multicultural affairs, settlement and advocacy – including FECCA as an organisation – cannot go foward into the future without reconciliation with the First Nations peoples of Australia.
We want to ensure that there is growing awareness and inclusivity around reconciliation both within our organisation and across our constituents. As the peak national body for the advocacy of multicultural affairs, it is FECCA’s responsibility to advocate for and support reconciliation efforts. The intention of having mutually respectful inter-cultural relationships has been articulated throughout FECCA’s history. We were the first organisation to sign an Accord with the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples in 2012. We hope this Reconciliation Action Plan is another formalised step towards collaboration and solidarity between CALD Australians, migrants and refugees and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
OUR PATH TO RECONCILIATION
Reconciliation Action Plans are a powerful tool for advancing reconciliation in Australia. Our Reconciliation Action Plan is a one-year plan based on Reconciliation Australia’s framework. It will shape the way we engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, develop new relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, and how we embed inclusivity and awareness into FECCA policies. By developing our Reconciliation Action Plan, FECCA aims to join a community of over 1,000 dedicated corporate, government, and not-for-profit organisations that have formally committed to reconciliation through the Reconciliation Action Plan framework since 2006. This collective action is creating the right environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to access sustainable employment and business opportunities, and contributing to a just, equitable and reconciled Australia. Reconciliation Action Plans provide a structured, nationally recognised, tried and tested model for workplaces to formalise commitments to reconciliation.
Reconciliation Action Plans help to foster a community of shared values, goals and a common language when it comes to reconciliation. Our Reconciliation Action Plan has gone through Reconciliation Australia’s endorsement process and complies with the Reconciliation Action Plan framework and national standards.
FECCA s Reconciliation Action Plan will act as an organisation-wide framework for the delivery of our commitments and actions aimed at improving reconciliation. FECCAs vision for reconciliation is to promote unity, respect, and understanding between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the ethnic communities of Australia. FECCA recognises that reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians is the responsibility of all Australians. FECCA wishes to stand with Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders peoples in solidity against the racism, systematic disenfranchisement, and marginalisation that remains commonplace in Australia today.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan outlines the actions we aim to take throughout 2019-2020 to guide FECCA through reconciliation initiatives. We hope this and all future Reconciliation Action Plans that are meaningful, mutually beneficial and sustainable. We hope this Reconciliation Action Plan will help us work towards reconciliation by allowing us to develop practical strategies for building and maintaining strong partnerships and engagement with Aboriginal communities, organisations, families, and individuals.
As recommended by Reconciliation Australia, FECCA defines reconciliation through the following five dimensions;
Race relations: All Australians understand and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous cultures, rights and experiences, which results in stronger relationships based on trust and respect and that are free of racism.
Equality and equity: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples participate equally in a range of life opportunities and the unique rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are recognised and upheld.
Institutional Integrity: The active support of reconciliation by the nation’s political, business and community structures
Unity: An Australian society that values and recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritage as a proud part of a shared national identity.
Historical Acceptance: All Australians understand and accept the wrongs of the past and the impact of these wrongs. Australia makes amends for the wrongs of the past and ensures these wrongs are never repeated.
You can download the FECCA Reconciliation Action Plan from this link: http://fecca.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/FECCA-Reconciliation Action Plan_WEB.pdf
As a worthy aside, the Queensland Multicultural Charter has a preamble which recognises the role of the Indigenous peoples. You can view the Queensland Multicultural Charter here.