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National Reconciliation Week 2024- ‘Now More than Ever’

It’s National Reconciliation Week this week (NRW) 27 May-3 June.

As part of Candella’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation and to acknowledge NRW we have captured reflections from our Candella employees around reconciliation, it’s meaning and it’s connection to our work at Candella. 

Candella acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians.

Our official journey towards fostering reconciliation began last year when we began planning our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which will be published on our website later this year.

This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme – “Now more than ever” – is an opportunity to be a voice for change. To help us voice our commitment to meaningful change in support of reconciliation, we asked our Candella employees to share their reflections on reconciliation, this year’s theme and in context of mental health.

Outlined below are some glimpses into what reconciliation  represents for our Candella community.

Candella’s reconciliation journey is of key significance, not only for our organisation, but also for the broader community that we serve. We believe that quality mental health services should be available to as many people as possible. It is our mission to make access to mental health and psychosocial wellbeing services inclusive and achievable for all, by increasing our reach and positively impacting as many people and communities as possible.

What does National Reconciliation Week mean to you?

“I feel sad that ages after people from other countries entered (putting it mildly) Australia, reconciliation is still an unfinished business. It is a grim reminder that the indigenous people, the first peoples of Australia still need to be respected and fight for justice in their own land.

Why is it taking so long to be reconciled? Is it because people of other nations think that they are superior to the indigenous people?”

“NRW is a time that I want to dedicate to acknowledging the deep and enduring impacts of colonisation on Indigenous folks of Australia. This history has largely been buried and remained unspoken, particularly in our schooling systems and media portrayal of Indigenous Australians. I am grateful that I went to a high school that offered an Indigenous language taught in the school, and that had a partnership with a community in the Northern Territory.”

“It is key to understand trauma and the culture of those impacted. In our work, it is important to be aware of this, be trauma informed, and show respect for the experiences of First Nations People and the land on which we work on.”

“Reconciliation is about so much more than inclusion. It’s about closing the gap, and I would love to see a movement towards recovering lost opportunities of learning from indigenous cultures. This world is struggling to support our current ways of living, and all indigenous cultures had so much more respect for nature and its gifts.

Recognising that loss, and making an effort to learn and incorporate more would be good for us, and not only demonstrate more respect for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people, but perhaps encourage everyone to take a greater hold of their traditions”.

“NRW is a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggles faced by Indigenous communities. The theme “Now More Than Ever” resonates with me, especially in the aftermath of the “No” campaign, highlighting the urgency to continue our progress towards reconciliation”.

“NRW means to me personally that I have an obligation to teach my daughter who the rightful owners of the land is and the importance of their culture and history and also to respect their history. In my role I should always listen and learn from the generations and their trauma and know that generational trauma exists for Aboriginal and Torres straight islander people.”

How does NRW relate to our work in the mental health sector??

“We should celebrate and empower the diversity and culture of our clients and their experiences”.

“I suppose inclusiveness comes in here, and a willingness to be open and curious about what it means to clients, and naturally to be respectful of their traditions and priorities.”

“Indigenous people are more vulnerable to mental illness, many instances of which would be unreported.

A special drive is necessary to find the cause of this malaise and open a dialogue with them to provide support to better manage the situation.”

“NRW emphasises the need for culturally safe mental health services. It reminds us of the urgent need to address disparities and ensure services are responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”.

“All of us, but particularly those of us who work in the mental health sector need to continue working to recognise the multi-generational trauma that has been inflicted through policies of displacement, cultural assimilation and systemic discrimination.

These injustices have caused profound suffering and lasting impacts on the mental health of indigenous communities. However, NRW is also time for reflection and forward movement, with a focus on a shared commitment to healing, understanding and unity. I look forward to celebrating Indigenous contributions and working together to build a future grounded in respect”.

How do you interpret the theme "Now More than Ever" in the context of our work at Candella?

“This theme for NRW 2024 signifies a call to action for us to intensify our efforts in providing high quality mental health support for all marginalised communities, including Indigenous Australians. It encourages us to recognise and address the mental health disparities faced by Indigenous Australians. Candella is building a future where we work more closely in partnership with local, grassroot Indigenous organisations and listening and reflecting our learnings by continuing to improve our tailored, culturally competent mental health support.”

“Candella is already aware of the situation on the ground and is committed to the reconciliation process.”

“The theme “Now More Than Ever” underscores the need for Candella to prioritise culturally responsive care and advocacy. The “No” campaign’s impact, causing division in society, emphasises that progress towards reconciliation cannot be taken for granted. It highlights the need for us to contribute actively to the broader movement for reconciliation and social justice.”


Willingness to hear stories and truths from clients.”

“As a Candella employee, we need to be mindful and acknowledge the experiences of first nations people in Australia. This theme relates to our trauma informed practice and wanting better for those effected while celebrating diverse cultures and experiences”.

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