Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Vincent Catania MLA has shone a light on National Reconciliation Week during Parliament today to acknowledge Australia’s important journey towards a fair, equitable and reconciled country.

Mr Catania encouraged all West Australians to dedicate time during the week to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures. “This year’s theme of ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes action’ is a call to all Australians to be a part of the change that is needed,” Mr Catania said.

“We have come a long way but there are still many milestones to reach and challenges to overcome. It is important to recognise the role we collectively play in our nation’s future.

“Apart from celebrating the week, we need to reflect on the pain afflicted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders while also exploring ways of nurturing inclusive relationships and communities with all fellow Australians for a better tomorrow.

“Learning from each other is a step forward. Reconciliation is not something we should think about just once a year, but also every day in every small way.” Mr Catania said he was honoured to deliver a statement in the Legislative Assembly today as Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and The Nationals WA Member for North West Central.

“As a regional MP, I’m acutely aware of the unique challenges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples face when it comes to critical issues like health, education, housing and employment.” Mr Catania said The Nationals WA had previously accepted and endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart – ‘Voice, Treaty, Truth’, and supported investment in the Remote Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Upgrade program and an Aboriginal Housing Fund.

“Our work and policies regarding the disparities between First Nations and non-Indigenous people is ongoing and as Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs I’m committed to fighting for better outcomes and pushing for equity in our State.”

Mr Catania said it was important to stand up and speak up about these issues by listening and learning from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Reconciliation is everyone’s business, and this week is a timely reminder for us to start conversations around our history and how we can progressively and collectively achieve a reconciled country.”

For more information visit www.reconciliation.org.au.