One Future Forum 2007 Declaration
In the lead up to the forum, Australian Future Directions Forum (AFDF) participants and additional young Indigenous leaders were encouraged to devise strategies to progress this aspiration.
The Forum itself served two main purposes:
- It provided a national event for many of the young leaders from the 2006 AFDF to deliver the results of their first 15 months work promoting reconciliation.
- It provided a unique opportunity for the AFDF leaders to join with national Indigenous leaders as a coalition to develop and implement – collectively and as individuals – a 10 year action plan designed to close the 17 year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
The One Future Forum was the first in a perpetual program of such forums that will continue over intervals of 5 years. This cycle of forums will seek to engage a new generation of 40 leaders – 20 Indigenous and 20 non-Indigenous to commit to closing the 17-year gap. The overarching strategy of this project is to transmit the experience and learning gained by previous participants who have developed their action plans and to ensure this important task is handed over to the new leaders.
A full-time secretariat headed by Ms Marianne Pinnington has been established within Reconciliation Australia through the sponsorship of the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Australia Post, NAB and Qantas. The secretariat will provide ongoing support to the participants of the implementation of their individual and group action plans through regular contact and monitoring of progress. The secretariat will assist with convening future meetings and manage the One Future Forum website. Structures will be put in place in the future for regular networking opportunities between the participants in each forum and for the first time, there will be continuity and succession planning in reconciliation.
A series of working groups were formed with a designated leader identified for each group. The group leader will facilitate, monitor, report on progress and update activity over the short, medium and long term to their group and Reconciliation Australia. The groups have committed themselves to a number of actions based around renewing the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians; including:
- Formal recognition of Indigenous Rights (unfinished business)
- Raising awareness and understanding
- National identity
- Leadership capacity – Indigenous and non-Indigenous
- Whose responsible?
- National voice for Indigenous Australians.