The 1991 Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody marked the start of the formal reconciliation process. The Royal Commission recommended that all political leaders and their parties recognise that reconciliation between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians must be achieved if community division, discord and injustice to Indigenous Australians were to be avoided.
Soon after, the Commonwealth Parliament voted unanimously to establish the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation who was tasked with promoting reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community.
The Parliament noted that there had been no formal process of reconciliation to date, and that it was “most desirable that there be such a reconciliation” by the year 2001—the centenary of Federation. This was the beginning of a formal process of reconciliation.
In 2000, at the end of their term, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation established Reconciliation Australia as the non-government, not-for-profit foundation to continue the national focus for reconciliation.
Visit Share our Pride for more information about the history of reconciliation in Australia.