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Reconciliation Week 2024: Now More Than Ever

National Reconciliation Week runs from May 27 to June 3 and commemorates the 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision successes, two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey. On May 27, 1967, Australians voted to give the Australian Government power to make laws to recognise and include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Census. On June 3, 1992, the Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision which has paved the way for Native Title, recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of lands.

National Reconciliation Week provides an opportunity to learn about shared history, culture, and achievements, and explore ways to achieve reconciliation through respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In Western Australia (WA), Reconciliation WA is focused on improving social and economic outcomes through education, support, and programs, and aims to ensure the culture, rights and contributions of Aboriginal peoples are valued and respected.

At Injury Matters, we work together to strengthen community-based programs and services that enable increased awareness of preventable injuries, to reduce harm and support people affected. We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in WA experience an injury fatality rate higher than Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people residing in other States and Territories.

As of 2021, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comprise an estimated 3.3% of the WA population. Yet, the age-standardised rate for all injury deaths in this population group was 96 deaths per 100,000 population from 2015-2019. The impact of injuries cannot be understated, and a holistic approach is required to prevent injury among this population.

Lower socioeconomic status, experiences of discrimination and disproportionate harm from alcohol-related injuries, result in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples being hospitalised with injury as a principal diagnosis, 2.5 times the rate of injury presentations compared to non-Aboriginal Australians. The WA Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Framework 2015-2030 provides guiding principles in the development and implementation of activities aimed at preventing injury among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Now More Than Ever, reminds us that no matter what, ongoing support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must continue. Visit the Reconciliation WA website for initiatives and events in WA, or visit the Reconciliation Australia Website for resources, posters and materials to get involved in National Reconciliation Week.

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If any material causes concern, please contact us on (08) 6166 7688.

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