Religious congregational leader says Practical Reconciliation 'not enough'
The President of the Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes (ACLRI), Br Michael Godfrey CFC, has commended the Howard Government on its commitment to 'Practical Reconciliation', but has insisted on the need for Reconciliation to also be enshrined in legislation.
He said: "The government's commitment to what it terms "practical reconciliation" needs to continue. But
'Practical Reconciliation' in these terms is not enough. It can't be seen as the total response."
On the occasion of the handover of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation's report in Canberra yesterday, Br Godfrey commended its work on raising awareness in the Australian community at large, and creating a climate for addressing the issues of Aboriginal disadvantage in this country.
But he added: "Formal legal recognition of the Aboriginal people's place in this country is the other major part of the equation that must be built in to a program to address the unfinished business of Reconciliation in this country. "
He said that, after 200 years of white settlement, the provision of adequate standards of health, housing, and education, basic rights all other Australian take for granted, is long overdue.
He went on to commit the ACLRI to "continuing the work of reconciliation that its many members are engaged in, and to supporting the ongoing work of Reconciliation Australia".