The Victorian NAIDOC Committee will host a Dawn Service at Kings Domain, Melbourne, on 26 January 2021, at 5AM. The Shepparton Interfaith Network holds that Australia Day will be the day Australia formally becomes a Republic. Until then, we may live in a creative tension and tolerance with ourselves and the indigenous communities of Victoria. We pray Australia Day will be a day that brings PEACE to all.
that the theme of NAIDOC WEEK for 2020 was “Always was, Always will be”, intimating that Australia (or the land by name Alcheringa) always was the sovereignty of the Indigenous peoples;
that the Annual Closing the Gap Report admits that we have failed to catch up with the health and longevity of the Indigenous peoples of Australia to whom we (the Government of Australia) owes an obligation to protect and improve their health and longevity outcomes;
- Progress against the Closing the Gap targets has been mixed over the past decade.
- As four targets expire, we can see improvements in key areas, but also areas of concern that require more progress.
- The target to halve the gap in child mortality rates (by 2018) has seen progress in maternal and child health, although improvements in mortality rates have not been strong enough to meet the target.
- The target to halve the gap for Indigenous children in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade (by 2018) has driven improvements in these foundational skills, but more progress is required.
- There has not been improvement in school attendance rates to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous school attendance within five years (by 2018).
- The national Indigenous employment rate has remained stable against the target to halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade (by 2018).
- Two of the continuing targets are on track.
- The target to have 95 per cent of Indigenous four year olds enrolled in early childhood education (by 2025).
- The target to halve the gap for Indigenous Australians aged 20–24 in Year 12 attainment or equivalent (by 2020).
- However, the target to close the gap in life expectancy (by 2031) is not on track.
that on 13 February 2008, the Parliament of Australia issued a formal apology to Indigenous Australians for forced removals of Australian Indigenous children (often referred to as the Stolen Generations) from their families by Australian federal and state government agencies. The apology was delivered by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
that the Shepparton Region Reconciliation Group particpates in the Apology Breakfast in Queens Gardens annually, and that Officers of the Shepparton Interfaith Network do practically participate in the Apology Breakfast, and attend the Shepparton Region Reconciliation Group; See here, here, here, here and here.
that the Shepparton Interfaith Network does attend the Annual Dungala Kaiela Oration at the Rumbalara Football and Netball Club and does in fact promote this event; see here and here and here and here and here and the most recent oration, here.
The treaty process is currently in the second phase following the formal commencement of negotiations between the Assembly and the Victorian Government on 3 August 2020. During this phase, the Assembly is working in partnership with the Victorian Government to establish the elements required to support future treaty negotiations:
- an independent Treaty Authority, to oversee and facilitate treaty negotiations
- the treaty negotiation framework, setting out the rules and process for treaty negotiations
- a self-determination fund, which will provide Aboriginal Victorians with an independent financial resource and support them to have equal standing with the State in treaty negotiations
There is no legislated timeline for the treaty framework to be agreed by the Assembly and State of Victoria.
Australia Day is an event that shall progress and unfold; human life is not static, and nor is it any permanent fixture. Just as the Courts – in all jurisdictions – are meant to reflect community attitudes towards protection of the community, so too, shall the Federal Government and the Republican movement advance to reflect community attitudes about Australia Day and the sovereignty of the First Peoples.
The Shepparton Interfaith Network holds that Australia Day will be the day Australia formally becomes a Republic. Until then, we may live in a creative tension and tolerance with ourselves and the indigenous communities of Victoria. We pray Australia Day will be a day that brings PEACE to all.
The Victorian NAIDOC Committee will host a Dawn Service at Kings Domain, Melbourne, on 26 January 2021, at 5AM.
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