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Draft Declaration of Reconciliation
|Date:||1 January 1999|
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|Subject Matter:||Cultural Heritage | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests|
|The Draft Declaration of Reconciliation was made by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation in 1999 as a draft for discussion by the Australian people.|
'Speaking with one voice, we the people of Australia, of many origins as we are, make a commitment to go on together recognising the gift of one another's presence.
We value the unique status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the original owners and custodians of traditional lands and waters.
We respect and recognise continuing customary laws, beliefs and traditions.
And through the land and its first peoples, we may taste this spirituality and rejoice in its grandeur.
We acknowledge this land was colonised without the consent of the original inhabitants.
Our nation must have the courage to own the truth, to heal the wounds of its past so that we can move on together at peace with ourselves.
And so we take this step: as one part of the nation expresses its sorrow and profoundly regrets the injustices of the past, so the other part accepts the apology and forgives.
Our new journey then begins. We must learn our shared history, walk together and grow together to enrich our understanding.
We desire a future where all Australians enjoy equal rights and share opportunities and responsibilities according to their aspirations.
And so, we pledge ourselves to stop injustice, address disadvantage and respect the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to determine their own destinies.
Therefore, we stand proud as a united Australia that respects this land of ours, values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, and provides justice and equity for all.'
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