I’m writing this message with deep respect from the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, acknowledging and honouring their enduring connection to this land. 

This year’s National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June) is themed “Now, More Than Ever”, which resonates profoundly following 2023’s Voice to Parliament Referendum. It serves as a poignant reminder that no matter the challenges faced, we must show resilience and commitment for real action towards a more just, equitable and Reconciled nation for everyone. Mission Australia will continue to advocate for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.   

At Mission Australia, we recognise the importance of amplifying the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – those we work with, those we serve, those who enrich our communities. Since 2009, we've been implementing meaningful initiatives outlined in our Reconciliation Action Plan. 

Under our current Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, I feel honoured to lead Mission Australia as we strive towards developing our first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Safety Framework. This endeavour embodies true co-design and collaboration, with invaluable insights shared by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, particularly our esteemed Knowledge Group and our new National Manager of our Cultural Strategy. I want to take this opportunity to thank our Knowledge Group for their leadership, wisdom and patience.  

We strive to enhance cultural safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through ongoing learning and practice improvement. Guided by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Strategy National Manager and our Knowledge Group, we’re developing strategies and fostering workplace cultures that support self-determination and address conscious and unconscious bias, discrimination and racism. 

Turning our minds to national events, last year Mission Australia was inspired by the courageous leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including many of our own staff and partners, and we stood as an ally in advocating for a Voice to Parliament. 

At Mission Australia, our commitment to amplifying voices and advocating for Reconciliation didn’t end with the Voice debate. We continue to champion Reconciliation underpinned by the core principle of self-determination.  

Now more than ever, we’re called to confront the unfinished business of Reconciliation. I have been heartened by the 6.2 million Australians who voted YES, demonstrating their commitment to better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Their support emboldens us all to press onward, together. 

It is so important that supporters of Reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the non-Iindigenous peoples of Australia stand up to defend and uphold the rights of First Nations peoples. We must actively confront racism wherever and however it manifests. 

Now more than ever, these things matter. We must engage in treaty making, truth-telling and deepen our understanding of our shared history since 1788 and much further back into the millennia of First Peoples occupation and custodianship of this ancient continent. We must prioritise education and address institutionalised inequity. What we need now is connection, respect, action and change. 

During this National Reconciliation Week, let us all reflect on how we can use our voices to drive positive change. Reconciliation is not merely a week-long event but a reminder of our daily commitment to building a more Reconciled Australia. 

Together we stand united, and now more than ever, we are resolute in our pursuit of Reconciliation. 


Photo of Sharon, CEO of Mission Australia.


Sharon Callister
CEO Mission Australia


Australia celebrates National Reconciliation Week from 27 May to 3 June every year. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the Reconciliation journey – the 1967 Referendum acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the High Court Mabo decision, respectively. National Reconciliation Week is preceded by National Sorry Day on 26th May. Visit the website for more information.

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