17 June 2020
Statement from the Y in Australia
The Y stands in solidarity with people of colour here in Australia and across the globe.
Exactly a decade ago, all YMCAs across Australia came together and made a commitment to our First Nations peoples, and today we renew that commitment.
“The YMCA recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples of this continent and the islands of the Torres Strait. In doing so, we acknowledge our shared history; recognise the right to self-determination and the importance of connection to and access to country. We acknowledge and respect distinct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural differences, beliefs, values and languages.
Through walking together and working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the YMCA will seek to address systemic issues of political and social exclusion, economic disadvantage, and health inequality. We also support and recognise the strengths, skills and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the YMCA and to the Australian community.” (YMCA National Convention, 2010)
We recognise that this land was never ceded and that a treaty with First Nations people does not exist.
We renew this commitment in acknowledgement that systemic inequality, exclusion and discrimination continues to exist and we call on all our communities and governments alike to work together for a more just world.
We must be persistent and purposeful and do this every day, not just today.
Chris Lewis & Melinda Crole
President & CEO, YMCA Australia