It’s National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June)

It’s National Reconciliation Week (NRW) and this year’s theme ‘More than a word. Reconciliation Takes Action,’ urges the Reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action. For us at The Benevolent Society, NRW is a time to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving Reconciliation in Australia and taking action.

Tim Beresford, Chair of The Benevolent Society Board says: “We all have a role to play when it comes to Reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, histories and cultures.”

“Our second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) ‘Innovate’ is a call to action for us to work with First Nations Peoples, who will be the primary beneficiaries of our shared efforts. To achieve this and as we progress and deliver, we will measure against the three pillars of reconciliation: Relationships, Respect and Opportunities”.

Our Board members smiling

Our board members from left to right: Charles Prouse, Christine Feldmanis, Tim Beresford, Nancy Milne and Andrew Yates

We support the Uluru Statement From The Heart 

As stated in the Uluru Statement From The Heart, the Benevolent Society Board supports First Nations Peoples’ constitutional recognition and the Voice to Parliament proposal by providing a submission to the National Indigenous Australians Agency.

On behalf of The Benevolent Society, our Board have made a request to the Australian Government to honour its election commitment to a referendum, once a model for the Voice has been settled, to ensure that the First Nations Voice to Parliament is protected by the Constitution. 

We’ve requested that the Government enable legislation for the Voice to be passed after a referendum has been held in the next term of Parliament.

We’ve also requested the membership model for the Voice must ensure that, previously unheard Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, have the same chance of being selected as established leadership figures. Giving them the right to voice, which speaks to the governance and what that voice might look like. 

A just society for all Australians

“Our organisation is founded on being a just society for all Australians to live their best lives. We will continue to advocate for our First Nation’s Peoples and stand beside them to call for a just society and social change, “says Tim.
“We believe in a collective voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and that they have the right to make decisions that affect their own lives.”

“We want to be genuine and stand beside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. And we recognise that reconciliation is more than a word. That reconciliation is action.”