Our Statement for Reconciliation Week 2020
Lived Experience Leadership, Advocacy
This past week has highlighted why reconciliation and an anti-racist stance is more important than ever. For events we have witnessed from the US and for the knowing that injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People continue on our own soil.
Reconciliation Australia’s vision of national reconciliation is based on five critical dimensions: race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity and historical acceptance. These five dimensions do not exist in isolation; they are inter-related and Australia can only achieve full reconciliation if we progress in all five.
LELAN’s organisational values align with these dimensions of reconciliation. We support a unified, just and equitable Australia where people don’t have reduced (mental) health outcomes or live in fear because of the colour of their skin or cultural background and where the longest living culture is celebrated.
One action we can take is to share more information that centres the voices, experience and leadership of Aboriginal people in Australia. It is necessary also to continue our own education and development as individuals, members of the mental health lived experience community and as a part of a broader movement for change rooted in human rights and social justice.
Reading this report by Dudgeon et al and incorporating the recommendations and wisdom of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders into our advocacy and action will make us better allies. We encourage you to read it too.
The report highlights a number of core themes to inform future work. These are:
– The Need for an Indigenous Lived Experience Definition and Network
– The Need for Self-Determination
– Experiences of Grief and Loss
– Experiences of Racism and Trauma
– Lack of Appropriate Services and Responses
– Isolation, Discrimination, and Racism in Mainstream LGBTIQ+ Services: Prioritising Engagement of Indigenous LGBTIQ+SB Peoples and Communities
– Hope for the Future
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander understandings and practices of wellbeing and healing must be prioritised. These concepts should be valued by non-Indigenous organisations and support persons, in order for them to be recognised and prioritised to ensure that Indigenous peoples and communities have sufficient access to them [Dudgeon et al]
Good advocates are good allies. When we display this through words AND action we show that we are in this together, that #blacklivesmatter and that we do not support injustice or oppression of any kind. This is solidarity.