Early Childhood Australia welcomes 2021 State of Reconciliation In Australia report
Early Childhood Australia (ECA) has welcomed the recent release of Reconciliation Australia publication, the 2021 State of Reconciliation in Australia Report: Moving From Safe To Brave.
The report explores the current status of reconciliation in Australia and identifies actions to achieve ‘a just, equitable, and reconciled Australia’, and urges all Australians to ‘be brave’ by actively addressing issues of inequality and racism — in the workplace, local community and early learning settings.
ECA CEO Samantha Page said the organisation was “pleased to see the call towards braver and more impactful reconciliation,” cautioning that while progress has been made, “more needs to be done”.
Building on themes raised in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including the call for a Voice to Parliament, Ms Page said that ECA “understands that self-determination and individual empowerment are the key to healing the trauma of the past and building a better future”.
The support from ECA, both around the report, and the broader themes raised within, come as debate continues around the country about the appropriateness of celebrating ‘Australia Day’ on 26 January.
ECA recognises that 26 January is an inappropriate date for celebrating Australia Day, urging the Australian Government to engage in respectful dialogue with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to change the date, Ms Page said.
“With 26 January fast approaching, we know that many early childhood educators and teachers will be feeling conflicted or troubled, uncertain about how to manage the expectations of families. Explain the complexities to children and find ways to practice genuine and respectful reconciliation,” she advised.
The early childhood profession should be congratulated for embracing reconciliation, she continued, saying that the uptake of professional learning, use of resources and participation in reconciliation — including the number of services with Reconciliation Action Plans — is a testament to the ethical foundations of this profession.
“Early childhood educators understand that a reconciled nation would be an extraordinary legacy to leave for future generations of Australian children and they want to be part of that. Early childhood educators play a vital role in Australia’s reconciliation journey through teaching our children the histories, cultures and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
To learn more about ECA’s position on reconciliation, see here.