Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders
Statement of Reconciliation
In 1998 Council adopted an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statement of Recognition. This Statement is an acknowledgement of regret and also an expression of thanks and hope for a future of peace and reconciliation.
"This is an acknowledgment of regret and also an expression of thanks and of hope in a future of peace and Reconciliation. We live in a beautiful place. It is our home and we love it. This area, that we call Pittwater, has long been appreciated for its natural beauty and peacefulness. It is home to the spirit of generations of Indigenous people.
It is important for us to acknowledge the heritage that we now take for granted, to express our thanks and to work towards Reconciliation. Pittwater Council acknowledges and regrets the havoc and destruction to the lives and culture of Indigenous people which occurred following the impact and massive change brought about by British and European settlement of the Sydney and Pittwater areas.
We acknowledge and respect the ongoing strength of the spiritual presence of Indigenous people in this area. We acknowledge that this was their land and water. We also acknowledge that the Indigenous peoples were dispossessed and that this dispossession continues. We are truly sorry for the devastation this has caused in the past and which continues into the present.
We are profoundly sorry that in this nation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were taken from their families, under policies developed by previous Governments and implemented by many organisations and authorities. We share the shame of these practices and we grieve for the suffering felt by so many Aboriginal people in the past and in the present.
In a spirit of Reconciliation we commit ourselves to:
- recognise Indigenous culture as an important part of our heritage and in doing so, educate ourselves and our children in the culture and history of the Indigenous peoples of this land;
- protect and honour sites in this area which are of special cultural and spiritual significance to Indigenous people;
- uphold the legal and moral rights of Indigenous Australians;
- and listen to and respect the aspirations of Indigenous Australians and work with them for a future based on shared values, social justice and cultural diversity.
We also believe that, in the words of our Governor General, Sir William Deane, we will be a "diminished nation" until the processes of Reconciliation take root and flourish.
This Statement of Reconciliation is offered in the confident hope that in the Pittwater area the spirit and practice of Reconciliation amongst all Australians will be nurtured and grow strong."
at it's Meeting of
23rd March, 1998.