Reconciliation Australia

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Reconciliation Australia
Predecessor Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation
Formation January 2001; 17 years ago (2001-01)
Type Non-government not-for-profit organisation
Purpose The national expert body on reconciliation in Australia; with a vision to wake to a reconciled, just and equitable Australia
Headquarters Old Parliament House
Professor Tom Calma AO
Melinda Cilento
Karen Mundine
Revenue (2016)
Decrease $10.9 million[1]

Reconciliation Australia is a non-government, not-for-profit foundation established in January 2001 to promote a continuing national focus for reconciliation between indigenous Australians and Australians from a non-indigenous cultural background. It was established by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and subsequently superseded that body.[2] In 1991, the Australian Parliament voted unanimously to establish the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and a formal reconciliation process. Parliament had noted that there had been no formal process of reconciliation and that it was “most desirable that there be such a reconciliation” by the year 2001, marking the centenary of Federation.

Reconciliation Australia is funded from corporate and government partnerships as well as tax deductible donations from individual Australians. The organisation works with business, government and individual Australians to bring about change, identifying and promoting examples[example needed] of reconciliation in action. Reconciliation Australia also independently monitors Australia’s progress towards reconciliation.

Reconciliation Action Plans

In 2006 Prime Minister John Howard and Professor Mick Dodson launched the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program, which was to be administered by Reconciliation Australia.[3] Through the program, organisations develop a business plan that documents the actions they will take to contribute to reconciliation in Australia. The practical steps outlined in the RAP aim to help to build strong relationships and enhanced respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Community programs, Indigenous employment, and procurement from certified Indigenous businesses are examples of the kinds of actions businesses can take in their RAP.

Key people


  • Professor Tom Calma AO (Co-Chair), Chancellor of the University of Canberra and the National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking
  • Melinda Cilento (Co-Chair), independent director of Woodside Petroleum
  • Kenny Bedford, lives on and represents the remote island of Erub (Darnley) on the Torres Strait Regional Authority
  • Glen Kelly, sits on a number of committees and statutory authorities at a State and Commonwealth level.
  • Bill Lawson AM, retired engineer and advocate for reconciliation, founder of the Beacon Foundation
  • Djapirri Mununggirritj, Yolngu elder from North East Arnhem Land, ex-officio member of the Yothu Yindi Foundation Board
  • Peter Nash, Australian Chairman of KPMG and holds positions on KPMG’s Global and Asia Pacific boards
  • Kirstie Parker, an Aboriginal woman of the Yuwallarai people in NSW, and Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples
  • Joy Thomas, served as an adviser and chief of staff to Ministers in the Howard Government


  • Karen Mundine, Chief Executive Officer, on the Boards of the Mary Mackillop Foundation and the Gondwana Children’s Choirs which includes the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir. Previous roles include Mary Mackillop Board Director, Deputy Chief Executive and General Manager Communication and Engagement, Reconciliation Australia; Senior Consultant, CPR Communications; senior public affairs and communications roles with federal government departments including Prime Minister and Cabinet and Foreign Affairs and Trade.


  1. ^ "Annual Financial Report for the year ended 30 June 2016" (PDF). Reconcilliation Australia. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  2. ^ Castan, Melissa; Arabena, Kerry (19 May 2016). "Indigenous reconciliation in Australia: still a bridge too far?". The Conversation. The Conversation Media Trust. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  3. ^ Armstrong, Leah. "RAP About". Reconciliation Australia. Reconciliation Australia. Retrieved 16 June 2014.

External links

  • Official website
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