The Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ) wishes to promote National Reconciliation Week (NRW) starting on Saturday 27 May and ending on Saturday 3 June. EIANZ encourages all our members and their colleagues to participate in NRW activities in their area. Please check your local Division newsletter and social media for event details or visit the Reconciliation Australia website to view all scheduled events.
National Reconciliation Week in Australia starts after National Sorry Day on Friday 26 May and ends on Mabo Day on Saturday 3 June. Both of these dates have historical and emotional significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples, and their acknowledgement is part of the process of reconciliation. National Sorry Day, commemorating the Stolen Generations, also coincides with the anniversary of the release, on 26 May 2017, of the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’ by delegates to the First Nations National Constitutional Convention, held over four days near Uluru in Central Australia.
The steps that EIANZ has taken towards reconciliation and engagement have included:
- A revised Code of Ethics recognising the rights and interests of Indigenous people and the application of traditional Indigenous knowledge; plus accompanying guidelines
- A position statement on Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledge and Engagement (February 2022)
- Adoption and endorsement of the EIANZ ‘Reflect’ RAP and the formation of a RAP Implementation Group to oversee and monitor commitments, with Divisional RAP Facilitators
- In the process of developing a database of organisations relevant to Indigenous engagement in environment-related fields, as a resource for EIANZ and members
The theme for NRW this year is “Be a Voice for Generations” - encouraging all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise. Visit Reconciliation Australia’s website for activities and events in your area, and get involved!
EIANZ is committed to reconciliation and respectful engagement with First Nations peoples, appointing an Indigenous Engagement Working Group in 2020 and adopting a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2022. Under the first stage ‘Reflect’ RAP, our 17 agreed actions, as endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, comprise four groups (Relationships, Respect, Opportunities and Governance), and agreed action number 2 is to build relationships through celebrating National Reconciliation Week. Each EIANZ Division now has a RAP Facilitator whose responsibilities include tracking and promoting NRW activities in each State, especially those of particular relevance to environmental practitioners.