A National Act of Recognition
With the First Peoples Australia at Kamay Botany Bay
We are delighted to introduce plans to hold A National Act of Recognition of the First Peoples of Australia and Torres Strait, at Botany Bay.
Formed in 1997, this is an Australia wide people’s movement. Since that time this movement has been building from the bottom up, rather than being imposed from the top down.
Our Recognition leadership and management team is made up of Aboriginal and non-aboriginal and Islander people.
Together with the Botany Bay Aboriginal Community and many other people across Australia, we have been working toward this goal since its beginnings all those years ago.
This Introduction is a broad overview. It begins with basic issues, outlines steps we want to take, and shows outcomes we all may expect.
We Go Back to Basics – The Underlying Issues
Our leadership has, over the years, noticed several fundamentals we believe are factual and evident to anyone who looks.
For example, after 240 plus years* of our shared history we see:
- A profound injustice has been imposed on Aboriginal and Islander people in their own lands
- A deep divide remains between descendants of those who were here and those who came
- It is clear to everyone the reconciliation debate never ends. It ebbs and flows, it may from time to time go quiet…but it is never resolved. It always comes roaring back! The public events in Canberra on 26 January 2012 are a perfect example
* The 240 plus years is dated from Lieutenant James Cook in 1770 and not the First Fleet in 1788
Many people are increasingly concerned about this, and our leadership believes that after such a long time we cannot afford to go on the way we are.
This ongoing cycle must end.
We suggest only the men and women of Australia can break this cycle.
We believe this means all of us must take action to address more than just the effects (symptoms) of our condition.
We must all act to address the primary cause (source) as well.
The earliest records in existence, brought into the open by our Recognition Team, show primary causes were:
- The original forced entry into community life and
- Taking possession of land known to be inhabited
We think it both logical and essential that we deal with “the root and not just the fruit” of our condition.
Towards Resolution – A First Step
In our view, attaining justice and healing will depend on gaining the support of the Australian people.
To foster that, as a first step our core action will be to invite every Australian man, woman and child to gather at one place, Botany Bay, at a time to be advised, where together we will:
- Publicly denounce, and declare unacceptable, the forced entry at Kurnell on 28 April 1770
- Publicly denounce, and declare unacceptable, any false notion of “a land belonging to no one” that may have been in the taking of possession declaration near Cape York on 22 August 1770
- Hold A National Act of Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Practical Outcomes – What Australians May Expect
The Australian people as a whole need and are entitled to expect clear outcomes.
The Recognition leadership definitely wants strong outcomes, and we require they be very practical, they include:
The cause addressed:
To treat the cause of a condition instead of forever hoping to deal with it by treating its symptoms is one of the most practical actions a people of any nation could take.
In A National Act of Recognition, the men, women and children of Australia will be given their first opportunity in over two centuries to gather in a Historic Assembly and, as the people of this land, address the original causes of injustice and marginalization, and the deep divide between our people.
The outcome will be that we will lay the foundation essential for any serious healing.
It will also be the completion of our short term objectives
In taking this step we will gain far greater public awareness than we have now of the issues that lie at the heart of marginalization and division, and how they came about
Raised awareness will lead to all our people becoming much better informed than we are now. In other words, we will be far better educated.
This in itself will be a very practical outcome.
Improved education will empower many more Australians to become part of the solution instead of often being part of the problem.
We suggest that personal engagement by vast numbers of our people is the foremost practical outcome our nation needs.
This will be the completion of our long term objectives
For Your Reflection
The above outline is a broad introduction to the Recognition Story.
For some detailed background that will help explain this Story and the people’s movement behind it, we invite you to visit and consider the links on the left.