In 1991, the Commonwealth Parliament established the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (CAR) to promote a process of reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider community. Since then, the Australian community has shown a growing awareness of the need for reconciliation. The CAR consulted widely, and developed long-term and short-term strategies to help the nation put right the legacies of the past. Patrick Dodson was the founding Chair of CAR.
NSW Reconciliation Council (NSWRC) was formed in 1997 as part of a local, state and national structure to support the legislated process of reconciliation. First known as the NSW State Reconciliation Committee (SRC) and chaired by Linda Burney, the Committee provided a bridge between communities and government in the development of reconciliation initiatives in NSW.
NSW Reconciliation Council was the first State Committee to receive funding from its state government and was able to employ an administrative officer and fund a number of significant projects.
When CAR’s legislative mandate ended in 2001, NSWRC was incorporated as an association and took on the mission‘To advance the reconciliation process in NSW through the promotion of equitable and just communities that acknowledge and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and values.’