Queensland Positive People acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Although National Reconciliation Week is coming to an end, QPP would like to remind our community that we must all continue to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements as an Australian population. We must fight for an Australia that is just and equitable to ensure that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the same opportunities as non-Indigenous Australians.
In Australia, our Indigenous culture dates back over 65,000 years, making it one of the oldest known cultures outside of Africa. In 1788, there were approximately 750,000 Indigenous people in Australia when the first British fleet entered the coastline of Warrange, now known as Sydney. The land of Aboriginal peoples was claimed under the ‘legal fiction’ of terra nullius, enabling the dispossession of Aboriginal lands.
Sovereignty has never been ceded. Australia always was and always will be, Aboriginal land.
The impacts of colonisation are still ongoing and have resulted in inequity, racism and the disruption of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures – all of which negatively influence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes today. Indigenous Australians are disproportionately affected by numerous health conditions when compared to non-Indigenous populations – HIV being one of these. This can be attributed to the many discriminatory, misinformed policies implemented over the last two centuries.
QPP acknowledge that reconciliation is an ongoing journey that reminds us that while generations of Australians have fought hard for meaningful change, future gains are likely to take just as much, if not more, effort. As part of QPP’s new strategic plan, we are embracing the five dimensions of reconciliation and are taking an active approach to embed the learnings from this process within all facets of our organisation. We are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to advance our Reconciliation Action Plan, which will further allow QPP to effectively support Indigenous Australians with HIV.
If you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and would like to be involved in this process, QPP would love to hear from you.