In an exclusive video co-produced by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) and the Australian Academy of Humanities (AAH), the Hon Dr Barry Jones has released a stirring call to action in support of constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
In the video, which reflects on the significance of National Reconciliation Week, Dr Barry Jones emphasises the significance of the Voice to Parliament.
“This is not just for the benefit of First Nations people, it is an essential element of being honest with ourselves, to fulfil the human potential of all of us,” said Dr Jones.
“Is it symbolic? You bet. Don’t underrate the significance of symbols. This is not just for the benefit of First Nations people, it is an essential element of being honest with ourselves, to fulfill the human potential of all of us. It’s time. Do it now.”
Dr Jones is a joint fellow of the Australian Academy of Science; the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Elected as a member of the House of Representatives in 1977, he served as Minister for Science, among other roles before retiring from federal government in 1998. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1993, and later a companion of the Order of Australia in 2014.
In the video entitled Australia Day 65,000 BCE, 1788 CE and 2023: a long perspective, Dr Jones speaks about the significance of National Reconciliation Week, and the two dates that mark the beginning and end of it.
Reconciliation week takes place between the 27th of May and the 3rd of June, commemorating the 1967 referendum and the Mabo decision.
National Reconciliation Week has occurred annually since 1993. This year’s theme is ‘Be a Voice for Generations.’ According to Reconciliation Australia, “The theme encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise.”
ATSE’s vision for reconciliation is that all Australians recognise and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander custodianship as one of the oldest knowledge systems on the planet. Through respectfully working with, listening and learning from current Traditional Knowledge holders and practitioners in science and engineering we will build a better nation and a healthier, more sustainable world.
The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is a Learned Academy of independent experts helping Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems.