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National Truth-Telling initiative to heal division after Voice referendum

A National Act of Recognition 2 mins read

The National Act of Recognition movement has announced a restorative Truth-Telling initiative event to be held at Kamay Botany Bay in the aftermath of the failed Voice to Parliament referendum.


The initiative is not reactive, but comes out of extensive consultation over 26 years with more than 100 First Nations communities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, many of whom strongly asserted that genuine 'Truth Telling' is of the highest priority when addressing the history of colonisation.


Co-chairs of the Recognition National Leadership Team, Elder Ossie Cruse MBE AM and Reverend Lindsay McDowell launched the website – – saying that it was an important opportunity for healing by jointly speaking truth in unity after such a difficult national referendum debate.


“In light of the failed Voice referendum, it is clear that new efforts must be made by local communities to shape our national narrative around First Nations relations.”


"This truth-telling initiative is the culmination of more than two decades of consultation with First Nations people where they live – on Country. Our Recognition Teams have sat down together with them in urban, regional and remote communities – in the wind and the rain and the dust and the mud – to ask what it is that is truly important to them.” Elder Cruse stated.


“Their overwhelming response was that they want to see public recognition Australia wide of our true history since colonisation began. Now that the politics is out of the way, we need a way to come together as a people – to take ownership of the past and, in doing so, be set free to look to the future.”


This initiative also has the support of local Elders and Land Council:


“We believe that the Australian people taking this step can get to the root of the problems Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have faced for generations, and begin to address those problems in a way that has not happened before,” the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council stated in a formal letter of support.


Founded in 1997, A National Act of Recognition is a grassroots movement developed by First Nations people and later Australians working together. The purpose has been to bring Truth Telling into our national conversation. This movement is entirely community led and has no affiliation to political parties, the Voice to Parliament, or Constitutional Recognition organisations.


This Truth Telling – The Recognition Way held an initial gathering of First Nations and community representatives on October 2022 near the Lieutenant James Cook 1770 landing site of first encounter at Kamay Botany Bay.  The next gathering, open to the Australian public, will be held on Saturday 2nd March 2024 in the Kamay Botany Bay region and will have capacity for up to 1000 people.


Registrations for the event will be available soon. For more details on this gathering and more information on A National Act of Recognition, please visit


Authorised Spokespersons:


Elder Ossie Cruse - Co-chair


Reverend Lindsay McDowell – Co-chair


Noeleen Timbery – Chairperson La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council


Elder Rodney Rivers – Recognition Leadership Team


Mr. Tom Hallas – Recognition Leadership Team


Pastor Michael Duckett – Recognition Team


Contact details:

Nick Jensen – 0405 163 048 –

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