Reconciliation Australia’s theme for 2021 ‘More than a word’. Reconciliation takes action’ urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action.  Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations and importantly as a nation. At the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 2021 marks twenty years of Reconciliation Australia and almost three decades of Australia’s formal reconciliation process.

About the NRW2021 Artwork

Action by Jessica Johnson, is the story of the land and community sharing the united call for action on reconciliation. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples have been listening to the heartbeat of the land and sea for generations. With their rainbow shaped souls the spirits ask for us to join and make reconciliation more than a word, take action. We need to love one another and every aspect of the existing environment and community – we all have a role to play.

Moving from Awareness to Action

The Reconciliation movement is at a tipping point: In the past year, with Black Lives Matter protests and huge numbers at Invasion Day rallies across the country, we’re seeing people are understanding the truth and speaking up on issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

More than a word. Reconciliation takes action asks people to take this awareness and knowledge, and use it as springboard to more substantive, brave action. For reconciliation to be effective, it must involve truth-telling, and actively address issues of inequality, systemic racism and instances where the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are ignored, denied or reduced.

While we see greater support for reconciliation from the Australian people than ever before, we must be more determined than ever if we are to achieve the goals of the movement — a just, equitable, reconciled Australia. As history tells us, this will only happen through continued and concerted action from those who are already part of the reconciliation movement to those who are yet to join.

Moving towards a braver reconciliation requires a vision for what a just equitable and reconciled Australia looks like. 

Actions—guided by the five dimensions of reconciliation—are recommended in the 2021 State of Reconciliation in Australia Report.

Growing Support

According to the 2020 Australian Reconciliation Barometer there is far greater awareness of the complexity and magnitude of First Nations cultures and knowledges; and many more Australians now understand the brutal impact that British colonialism and the modern Australian state have had on First Nations families and communities. We are seeing more people speaking up, speaking the truth, asking the hard questions, seeing the hard facts, and informing themselves about issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The 2021 theme calls on others to follow their lead by reflecting on their own contributions and striving to do more.