Reconciliation Week runs from 27 May to 3 June each year, and marks two significant dates in the Australian Reconciliation story; the 1967 Referendum on 27 May, in which references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution were updated and they were included in the census for the first time; and secondly the handing down of the Mabo Decision by the High Court of Australia, which overturned for the first time the legal term of ‘terra nullius’, the idea that Australia had been uninhabited prior to European settlement.
This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Reconciliation Walks in 2000 involving so many Australians, including over 250,000 who walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to mark Corroboree, and while there has been some progress towards reconciliation during that time, significant gaps still exist.
These remain in legal and constitutional areas, in life expectancy, in incarceration rates, in economic circumstances and educational opportunities and standards and in quality of life measures such as health and access to justice.
This year Konica Minolta will embark on our first Reconciliation Action Plan to build on the work we’ve already been doing to drive indigenous recognition and participation, thought the commitments made in our 2017 CSR strategy “Pathways towards sustainability 2020”.
“It’s been satisfying to see how our employees and customers have embraced the spirit of reconciliation, and we’re committed to learning and working together with indigenous communities to develop a RAP that’s going to have real meaning and a positive impact”. Meredith Roach, Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer
Some of the steps Konica Minolta have already taken towards reconciliation include an indigenous procurement program through Supply Nation, and sponsorship of Indigenous students through The Smith Family’s “Learning for Life” program. At both of our major events in 2019 we invited indigenous elders to share a welcome to country with us and on both occasions it was a very special and appreciated part of the event.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land upon which our national office stands, the Wattamattagal people of the Darug Nation, and pay our respects to Elders, past, present and emerging. In the spirit of the theme of this year’s Reconciliation Week from Reconciliation Australia, we are #inthistogether.