Minister Encourages All Victorians To Have Mutual Respect For Each Other

Minister Encourages All Victorians To Have Mutual Respect For Each Other

Victoria Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Jeanette Powell

Call For Mutual Respect

Victor P Taffa

Speaking today at a flag raising ceremony as part of the 2011 NAIDOC Week celebrations, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Jeanette Powell encouraged Indigenous and non-Indigenous Victorians to reflect and consider how our joint futures can grow and prosper on the basis of mutual respect.

NAIDOC Week is a key event in the Indigenous and non-Indigenous calendar in Victoria, acknowledging and celebrating the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture.

The Minister paid tribute to William Cooper, the subject of the Victorian NAIDOC Week theme, at the flag raising ceremony.




“A Yorta Yorta man, William Cooper was integral to the establishment of the Australian Aborigines League, and a determined advocate for equal rights.” Mrs. Powell said.

“The annual NAIDOC Week celebration gives us pause to reflect on how far Aboriginal Australians have come since William Cooper’s first delegation in the 1930’s.”

“I encourage more Aboriginal Victorians to continue the great work of role models like William Cooper and help create the changes Aboriginal people need and want.” Mrs. Powell said.

Mrs. Powell said the Victorian Government would recognise the significant contributions of Aboriginal Victorians through Australia’s first Indigenous Honour Roll, and would support future leaders through programs such as the Wayaperri Indigenous Leadership Initiative.

“The Victorian Government is supporting and developing future Aboriginal business and community leaders as one component of closing the gap between the Aboriginal community and the broader Victorian community.” Mrs. Powell said.

The 2011 National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week theme is ‘Change: the next step is ours’ and the Victorian theme is ‘William Cooper: Equal Rights, Still a Fight’.

“NAIDOC Week’s twin themes are important aspirations and responsibilities for Indigenous Victorians.” Mrs. Powell said.