Our Purpose

The vision of the NSW Reconciliation Council is to create a reconciled, just and equitable community for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians in New South Wales. We work to inform, support and inspire the people of New South Wales to engage in reconciliation. 

Reconciliation means acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of this land, and recognising these peoples were dispossessed, persecuted and oppressed as a result of Australia’s colonisation. Reconciliation involves developing our understanding of how this history of violence and oppression continues to shape contemporary Australian society. Reconciliation means ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures are treated with dignity and respect at all times.

Reconciliation cannot only be symbolic. For reconciliation to be achieved there needs to be a series of real, practical outcomes in relation to the systemic disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In a reconciled Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will have the same life opportunities and choices as non-Indigenous children, and the length and quality of a person’s life will not be determined by their racial background. For this reason, NSWRC focuses on both symbolic and practical elements of reconciliation at the local level.

The reconciliation movement has always been, and must continue to be,  a ‘people’s movement’. In the years since the organisation was founded, the idea of reconciliation has been contested and debated, and has evolved significantly as a result of these discussions. The NSW Reconciliation Council is committed to ongoing evolution and consultation, ensuring that any notion of reconciliation that we promote is one that reflects the current interests and priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across New South Wales.

Linda Burney and Aunty Carol Cooper at a NSWRC event in Lawson, NSW