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Landmark launch in National Reconciliation Week
This week marks a significant milestone for CFA, with the launch of our first Koori Inclusion Action Plan to coincide with National Reconciliation Week from Wednesday 27 May through to 3 June.
These dates are significant, with 27 May marking the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum in 1967 to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australian law, and 3 June being the date the landmark Mabo decision was handed down in 1992.
Prior to the 1967 Referendum Aboriginal people were not counted as people in Australia and were instead part of the Flora and Fauna Act.
National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories and cultures, and for CFA to celebrate our values of inclusion, equality and diversity.
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said the Koori Inclusion Action Plan paves the way for greater inclusion of the state’s 47,000-strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and enables a deeper cultural exchange.
“For thousands of years Aboriginal people managed the land through fire, as part of their culture and their livelihood,” Mr Ferguson said.
“This then establishes a special relationship between fire management agencies and the Traditional Owners of the land.
We have a unique common bond forged by our mutual respect for fire and our attempts to exercise control over it.
“Despite the science we now use in study and in land management, it is clear that we are no match for the way in which Aboriginal people tended the land and cared for the environment that they lived in at that time.
“Fire is central to their culture and their livelihood. It’s fair to say fire defines Australia.”
The launch of KIAP at CFA headquarters can be viewed at 10:30am on Thursday 28 May on livestream.com
There are also activities taking place in each CFA District across the state and CFA encourages all members to get involved.
Contact your local District office to find out what’s happening in your region.
CFA’s Koori Inclusion Action Plan (2014-19) can be found here.