Walking Together: Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation

c. 2000

Donated by Lawrence Ben

Museum of Australian Democracy collection

The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation was established in 1991 with the vision: ‘A united Australia which respects this land of ours; values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage; and provides justice and equity for all’. In October 1992 the Council acknowledged the community-wide commitment needed to achieve reconciliation, stating that ‘the process involves all of us walking together to find a better path to the future of this nation’.

On 28 May 2000 more than 250,000 people, including politicians, public figures and members of the Stolen Generations, walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge in a show of support for the reconciliation process. The Bridge walk was followed by other walks in cities and towns across the country, involving almost one million people in total.

The donor of this badge, Lawrence Ben, writes:

I wore my badge when I was eight years old at the Adelaide National Reconciliation March in 2000. I marched with a crowd of thousands from Adelaide Oval and then congregated at Victoria Square where Yothu Yindi played a concert. I can still remember standing knee-height alongside other supporters and feeling so small amongst the crowd. I also have strong memories of the smells of kangaroo meat cooking on open fire, the sounds of my first real live concert and colours of the many banners and signs.

My parents always brought me up with a strong sense of social justice and respect for others; joining in this march and wearing my badge on this occasion was the first time that I felt part of a large-scale movement committed to these ideals. Memories from that day remain very powerful because they still serve to inspire me today, especially in my studies. Although I have grown older and taller, my ‘Corroboree 2000’ badge still ignites strong memories that I carry with me today.