Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 11 May 2017) . . Page.. 1698 ..
MS FITZHARRIS: As I indicated in my previous answer, it has certainly not been brought to my attention that that was the case at all. But again, I will take the question on notice.
Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders—government policy
MS CODY: My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. Minister, will the ACT government be supporting the celebration of culture by Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in the ACT for the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum and the 25th anniversary of the Mabo decision?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Cody for her question and for her commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Earlier today I was pleased to announce that the ACT government will provide $21,000 each to two local organisations to support cultural and family-oriented events marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum and the 25th anniversary of the High Court’s Mabo decision. These events will take place during Reconciliation Week, which marks these anniversaries and is bookmarked at either end by these dates.
Canberrans reflected on the significance of the 1967 referendum throughout the recent 2017 heritage festival, which I know many members of this place participated in, and 27 May 2017 will mark 50 years to the day since almost 91 per cent of Australians voted yes to right the wrongs of the past and enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be counted in the census. The Canberra and District NAIDOC Aboriginal Corporation will hold a community day on 27 May at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre at Yarramundi Reach to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum.
In 1992, the High Court of Australia handed down its historic decision declaring terra nullius as fiction and legally recognising the native title rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. On 3 June, the ACT Torres Strait Islander Corporation will welcome all Canberrans to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Mabo decision.
It is important to continue protecting and promoting the rich cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ACT with the broader community by acknowledging these important milestones. I encourage all members of the Assembly to participate in Reconciliation Week activities.
MS CODY: Minister, what else is the ACT government doing to celebrate the culture of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in the ACT, support new leaders and champion opportunities for them to develop new skills?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Cody for her supplementary question. The ACT government is committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve equitable life outcomes and opportunities, to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and to develop new leaders in these communities.