The Canberra Multicultural Community Forum supports National Reconciliation Week, and invites members to play a full part in its activities, chair Sam Wong said today.

“It is fitting that members of the multicultural community, which represents the latest wave of immigration to the Canberra area, should link hands with the Ngunnawal People, who have lived here for more than 21,000 years,” he said.

“This year we have a great deal to celebrate. The apology offered by the Federal Government in February and the full participation of indigenous people in the state opening of Parliament have opened a new era in relations with Australia’s original inhabitants.

“There is still much to do. The conditions under which so many of our fellow Australians live in remote settlements is a disgrace as is the fact that indigenous people on average have much shorter life-spans than the rest of the community.

“National Reconciliation Week is a time both to mark what has been achieved and to pledge ourselves to further action to redress continuing wrongs.

“Many members of the multicultural community know what it is to be ostracised and persecuted in their original homes and have no wish to see these injustices perpetrated against anyone in their new one.”

Mr Wong said CMCF will be holding a special reconciliation celebration in partnership with the University of Canberra Ngunnawal Indigenous Higher Education Centre on Saturday (2-4pm), June 28 at the ACT Multicultural Centre, in Civic Square.

“On that day, in addition to speakers from the local Indigenous Community, we will receive an update on the ACT Government’s initiatives on indigenous affairs resulting from the Budget, as well as legislation dealing with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elected body,” he said.

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