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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1469 ..

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been largely written out, and yet, for our First Nations, the oldest cultures from the oldest continent on earth, the recent history has been marred by dispossession, violence, racism and the flow-on effects of intergenerational trauma.

Reconciliation Australia’s 2016 report, The State of Reconciliation in Australia, describes reconciliation this way:

At the heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

To achieve reconciliation we need to develop strong relationships that are built on trust and respect and that are free of racism. Building trust is not an easy process, and it is not something that will be achieved in a day. But what Reconciliation Day provides a focal point for our community—a day off with the explicit purpose of stopping, listening and thinking about our shared history and how it has shaped our society today. We are lucky in Canberra and generally speaking in this country to enjoy a high level of bipartisanship or tripartisanship in support of the idea of reconciliation.

As I mentioned earlier, the public event at the Arboretum is a fantastic opportunity for our community, including members of this place, to come together in a shared spirit of reflection and reconciliation. I know that that has been the case at the public events that have been held previously, which many members have attended. Reconciliation Day is one small way that the ACT is leading the nation, and I am looking forward to marking this day and reflecting with the community again on 31 May.

Mr Barr: Further questions can be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Alexander Maconochie Centre—chemical agent use

MR GENTLEMAN: In relation to questions from Mr Hanson earlier in question time concerning documents relating to procedure at the AMC, I can advise the following: the use of force and restraint operating procedure 2020 and the use of force and restraint policy 2020, along with other procedures, are publicly available on the legislation register.

Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders—legal services

MR GENTLEMAN: In relation to a question from Mrs Kikkert regarding ACT Policing and access to Interview Friends for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons, which I took on notice, I can advise that ACT Policing recognises the important protections and support offered by Interview Friends. It is mandatory for ACT Policing to utilise Interview Friends where the subject of an interview identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and is suspected of committing a crime.

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