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"For thousands of years before the arrival of Western settlers (in Australia), the sole inhabitants of the land were indigenous peoples, the ABORIGINES AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS. Their ancient heritage forms an essential part of the cultural landscape of modern Australia. Thanks to the Australian Government's courageous decision to acknowledge the injustices committed against the indigenous peoples in the past, concrete steps are now being taken to achieve reconciliation based on mutual respect. Rightly, you are seeking to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians regarding life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity. This example of reconciliation offers hope to peoples all over the world who long to see their rights affirmed and their contribution to society acknowledged and promoted."

Pope Benedict XVI, World Youth Day 2008

Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) - Draft

We propose to contact Reconciliation Australia about preparing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which will include the following.

Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands across New South Wales. We particularly acknowledge the Wiradjuri people, traditional owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

We acknowledge that in our area other peoples have come together and we would hope that we could all live together respectfully and harmoniously.

Commitment to reconciliation

We acknowledge that there is an unacceptable gap in life expectancy between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia and other Australians. We believe that closing the gap is of critical importance both for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and for the well being of our nation.

We also acknowledge that reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians is both necessary for closing the gap and for the well-being of Australia as a nation.

We are committed to building respect and relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. We are also committed to improving the opportunities available to Indigenous peoples.

With contrition and forgiveness we intend our commitment to reconciliation to be an ongoing one, which will expand with consultation, our experience and our understanding.

What we propose to do

We will endeavour to:-

Contacts

See Reconciliation Australia for an explanation of Reconciliation Action Plans.

The Law Society of New South Wales RAP and commentary.