Migrant communities urged to advocate for Australia’s reconciliation

By Our Reporter

Australia’s national body responsible for promoting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, is calling on migrant communities to support a reconciled future ahead of the 2023 National Reconciliation Week.

National Reconciliation Week (NRW)—27 May to 3 June—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.

This year, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) migrants are encouraged to connect with NRW’s 2023 theme, “Be a Voice for Generations” and consider ways they can be a voice for reconciliation in everyday life, including where they live, work, and socialise.

Recognising the growing importance of migrants in Australia’s social and political landscape, Reconciliation Australia is working with Cultural Perspectives, a specialist research and communications agency, to launch a new multilingual radio campaign promoting NRW 2023 in 10 community languages. This is in addition to its successful inaugural launch of multilingual posters, flyers, and explanatory materials.

“It is clear that engagement and understanding from Australia’s largest migrant communities will be critical to achieving reconciliation. All the signs suggest that these communities are strong supporters of First Nations’ aspirations including those addressed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart,” Reconciliation Australia Chief Executive, Karen Mundine, said.

“It is essential that Australia’s migrant communities understand our history and are able to make properly informed decisions about voting in the coming referendum.”

“Young Asian, Arab, Pasifika, and African-Australians have been a growing presence at Survival Day protests across the country and peak migrant organisations such as the Federation of Ethnic Community Councils (FECCA) have strongly endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart.”

FECCA Chair Carlo Cali recently told SBS News that the lived experience of migrants and refugees had informed their perspective to embrace the Indigenous Voice.

Last year a meeting of 800 delegates from ethnic communities from around the country endorsed constitutional recognition through a Voice.

Mr Cali said many migrants to Australia had experienced dispossession and colonialism themselves and therefore understood the brutal impact this had on the First Nations people. He said they wanted this legacy rectified.

Just over half of Australians were either born overseas or have at least one migrant parent. And nearly a quarter of Australians speak a language other than English at home.

The multilingual resources are currently available in Arabic, both simplified and traditional Chinese, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, Korean, Spanish, and Thai languages from: https://nrw.reconciliation.org.au/translated-resources

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