Minister for ATSI and Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier
The Honourable Glen Elmes

Minister’s “practical steps” to boost reconciliation

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Minister, Glen Elmes, has encouraged Queenslanders to be actively involved in the reconciliation process by considering what they can do to improve employment, health and education opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Mr Elmes said National Reconciliation Week in Queensland from 27 May to 3 June presents an opportunity for all Queenslanders to play whatever part they can.

“We’re making real progress with reconciliation, but the focus must remain on practical measures to improve the lives of Indigenous Queenslanders,” Mr Elmes said.

“While recognising the achievements and successes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, this doesn’t change the fact that many remain economically and socially disadvantaged.

“We all need to work together in practical ways to change peoples’ lives for the better.

“The Newman Government is certainly committed to ensuring Indigenous Q ueenslanders have access to the same opportunities and choices available to non-Indigenous Queenslanders.

“Everyone can play a part in opening up these opportunities – for jobs, access to adequate health services, schools and housing.”

Mr Elmes said that National Reconciliation Week was marked by a variety of events across Queensland, including community meetings, concerts, special church services, school competitions, story-telling sessions and bush food tastings.

? At Townsville, a reconciliation festival will be held next weekend, June 2-3, at Strand Park;
? In Gladstone, children from Clinton State School will tackle a drawing and writing competition based on what reconciliation means to them; and
? Among many Brisbane events are a concert for young people at the State Library, South Bank, on Sunday, 27 May.

“I encourage individuals, businesses, organisations and schools to think about what reconciliation means and how they can get involved in an active and united effort to bring it into reality,” he said.

Information about some of the activities for the week is available online at the Reconciliation Queensland website: www.rqi.org.au