Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) is cordially inviting all Shire residents to come along and celebrate National Reconciliation Week with a flag raising, smoking ceremony and BBQ at the Visitor Information Centre Willow Tree, Friday June 2 at 11am.
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) runs annually from 27 May – 3 June. These dates mark two milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey: 50 years since the 1967 referendum, and 25 years since the historic Mabo decision.
“All Australians are invited to participate in our nation’s reconciliation journey. For us on the Liverpool Plains, traditional land of the Kamilaroi people, it is a particularly important journey. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 10.9% of the Shire’s population, a figure three times higher than the national and state averages of 2.5%,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope
“In Australia we are fortunate enough to have one of the richest and oldest continuing cultures in the world. This is something we should all be proud of and celebrate. As we commemorate the significant milestones gained we should all strive to be a part of the next big steps in our nation’s reconciliation journey.
“Importantly, reconciliation must live in the minds, hearts and actions of us all as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, many of whom experience vast differences in health, education, employment, and standards of living compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. Understanding these inequalities is the first step to reconciling the differences between us,” he said.
“It may surprise many and is sobering to know that with heart disease the mortality rate for indigenous Australians is 163.4 vs 87.2 others per 1,000 people. For respiratory diseases it is 76.3 vs 25.7, for lung cancer 68.9 vs 32.5, for liver disease 29.3 vs 6.1, for suicide 25.7 vs 9.6 and diabetes 97.9 vs 15.3. The rate for death by assault is 6.7 vs 0.7. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a significantly lower life expectancy, up to 11.5 years for men and 9.7 years for women.
“Only just over 20% complete year 12, unemployment rates are 3.4 times higher than for other Australians, 11% are bullied at school, 25% live in overcrowded housing and the infant mortality rate is 8/1000 live births, double the rate for non-Aboriginal Australians,” he continued.
Understanding these and many other inequalities is the first step to reconciling the differences between us,” he said.
“Please come along to Willow Tree on June 2 to be a part of the process,” Councillor Hope concluded.