Effective engagement: The tonic for a reconciled nation
Presented by the University of Sydney's Reconciliation Week 2011 program
Mr Mick Gooda
30 May, 2011
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda charts an agenda of hope that can guide us towards a reconciled Australia.
Commissioner Gooda focused on three key areas to advance the reconciliation agenda. He began with the need to implement the spirit and intent of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into the Australian domestic climate, so that all laws, policies and programs that impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are consistent with human rights standards. Next, he raised the importance of developing stronger and deeper relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community; with governments; and within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities themselves. Finally, the significance of recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution was discussed.
Commissioner Gooda argued that effective engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should drive the work in the three key areas identified. His central thesis being, that without effective engagement the reconciliation agenda will stall.
Mick Gooda is a descendent of the Gangulu people of central Queensland. Immediately prior to taking up the position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick was the Chief Executive Officer of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health (CRCAH) for close to five and a half years. Here, he drove a research agenda which placed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people ‘front and centre’ in the research agenda, working alongside world leading researchers.
Mick has extensive knowledge of the diversity of circumstance and cultural nuances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia. He has been actively involved in advocacy in Indigenous affairs throughout Australia and has delivered strategic and sustainable results in remote, rural and urban environments. Mick has played a leadership role in a range of areas including: Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and Senior Consultant to the Aboriginal Legal Service (WA).
Mick is also currently a Board Member of the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health Queensland, and is the Australian representative on the International Indigenous Council which focuses on healing and addictions.