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New PM kicks off Reconciliation Week with strong message

By Zaid Siddiqui

Anthony Albanese sparked hope and joy among Indigenous Australians by directing that two Australian flags be replaced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander flags for his first press conference as Prime Minister.

The new flags were placed in the Blue Room at Parliament House by staff just days before national Reconciliation Week kicked off.

Reconciliation Week; which runs from May 27 to June 3 this year with a theme of Be Brave, Make Change; is when Australians recognize and learn Indigenous culture, history and achievements.

Nyamal women Dr Tracey Westerman on Twitter expressed her joy by saying she was in “happy tears”.

“We will finally have incredible, strong Aboriginal representatives in our Parliament & a leader who not only believes in sharing space but sharing power,” Westerman said.

Albanese also has previously announced other changes to launch further Reconciliation of Indigenous Australians.

“We will, of course, be advancing the need to have constitutional recognition of First Nations people, including a Voice to Parliament that is enshrined in that constitution,” Albanese said.

The Voice to Parliament is entrenched with three principles outlined in the Uluru Statement from the Heart:

  • The voice principle outlines an Indigenous Australians voice in parliament
  • Makarrata touches on the bridge building and the treaties
  • Truth is the acknowledgment of a national process of truth telling

Labor Politician Linda Burney, the first Aboriginal woman to be named Indigenous Affairs Minister, said the referendum would “change Australia”.

“It’s just so exciting” Burney said, adding that a comprehensive public education campaign would be necessary to explain what the Voice would mean to Australians before a referendum would be held.

Feature Image: The ‘I Have A Dream’ mural in Newtown. Photo: Hpeterswald/CC/Wikimedia Commons

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