Why is there a need for reconciliation projects within Australia? When Europeans discovered Australia in the year 1770, they declared the land terra nullius- uninhabited. However, this was not true. This erroneous statement was what led to years of violence, discrimination, massacre and racial discord which continues to have devastating effects on our society, more than 20 decades later. As a nation, we still bear the scars from this period, and it is now, more than ever, that we need to focus on reconciliation.
The term reconciliation means'to bring into agreement or harmony, to render no longer opposed'. The current Australian project of reconciliation refers to efforts to resolve past issues and differences between Australia's indigenous population and the wider community. It was established in 1991, when the commonwealth parliament voted to found the council for Aboriginal reconciliation, aswell as to begin a formal reconciliation process. This came as the result of continuingly obvious inequalities and hostility between both groups. The 26th of January is a day on which many Australians celebrate the founding of modern- day Australia.
However, for many indigenous Australians, this day is not one of celebration but one of mourning and protest. It signifies the loss of their traditional culture, death, disownment, and disease. When Europeansfirst colonized Australia they spread sickness and conflict throughout the Aboriginal settlements- they took the lives of many indigenous peoples, and stole their children to bring up as their own. For years after, Aboriginal people were despised and discriminated against, robbed of their land and their rights. Indigenous people were not allowed to vote until 1962, and could not even be counted as an Australian citizen until 1967. Although today Australia's Aboriginals are recognised as the equals of white Australians, and racist attitudes are part of a small mino.