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In his Australia Day address in January 2016, Premier Will Hodgman identified three themes that underpin the Government’s approach to resetting the relationship with the Aboriginal community in Tasmania.
The Reset agenda identifies five key priority areas which are informed by the themes of recognition, reconciliation and real outcomes.
This new approach aligns the Tasmanian Government with the Australian Government, and implements new arrangements that are more inclusive.
In partnership with the Aboriginal community, enhanced resources and training will be developed to support teachers to deliver the history and cultures component of the Australian curriculum with a focus on Tasmanian Aboriginal people.
Legislation to amend the Constitution Act passed through the State Parliament on 26 October 2016 and the Act received Royal Assent on 15 December 2016. The amended Preamble reads:
“And whereas the Parliament, on behalf of all the people of Tasmania, acknowledges the Aboriginal people as Tasmania’s First People and the traditional and original owners of Tasmanian lands and waters; recognises the enduring spiritual, social, cultural and economic importance of traditional lands and waters to Tasmanian Aboriginal people; and recognises the unique and lasting contributions that Tasmanian Aboriginal people have made and continue to make to Tasmania.”
Activity around exploring joint land management arrangements will include new and contemporary ways for Aboriginal people to connect to country, while building economic opportunities, particularly in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
The Tasmanian Government is continuing to invest in activity that supports the COAG agenda to close the gap in Aboriginal disadvantage, with a particular focus on family violence, the early years, economic development and employment.
Implementation of the Reset agenda is led by a Steering Committee, comprising heads of agencies and chaired by the Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet. The Steering Committee is supported by the Reset Interdepartmental Committee, comprising senior departmental officials, and by inter-agency Reset Working Groups.
The key stakeholders in the Reset are the Aboriginal community, Aboriginal community organisations and Tasmanian Government agencies. In 2015 the Premier undertook extensive consultations with Aboriginal people and organisations around the State, to identify opportunities and to hear issues of concern. Engagement on actions under the Reset agenda continues to be a significant element of the work of the Office of Aboriginal Affairs.
Some Reset agenda action items are linked to other important Tasmanian Government initiatives, including: