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2022 Australian Reconciliation Barometer released

[supplied by Reconciliation Australia]

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Karen Mundine. Image: supplied

During a time of dramatic global decline in public trust in institutions, the 2022 Australian Reconciliation Barometer (ARB) shows mutual trust between First Nations people and other Australians is steady. 

“This latest survey provides evidence that support for reconciliation and the Uluru Statement from the Heart remains strong,” said Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine (pictured). “As does mutual trust between First Nations people and non-Indigenous Australians. 

“Of particular interest is the steep rise in trust when both groups surveyed by the ARB have a social connection with the other group. 

“63% of the non-Indigenous people surveyed said they trusted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people they have not interacted with and 63% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people said they trusted non-Indigenous people they have not interacted with.  

“However, these percentages rise significantly when the respondents were asked the same question about people with whom they had interacted with. Trust levels rose to 86% of non-Indigenous people expressing trust in First Nations people and 79% of First Nations trusting non-Indigenous people. 

“These rising levels of trust augur well for change, as we head towards the national referendum on Voice to Parliament.  

“This Barometer continues a long-standing trend of overwhelming support for a national representative Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander body and the comprehensive telling (and teaching) of Australia’s true colonial history.  

“80% of Australians believe the creation of a national representative Indigenous body is important and 79% believe such a body should be protected under the constitution. Support from First Nations people sits at 86%. 

“It is the growing support for a Treaty between First Nations and other Australians that has seen the most remarkable growth in support with a 19% increase from 53% in 2020 to 72% today. 

“Support for truth-telling remains very high at 83% for the general community and 87% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents.” 

Ms Mundine said the 2022 Australian Reconciliation Barometer also reveals a strong community view that governments and the private sector must do more to close the gap. 

“Australians have indicated their frustration with the lack of progress in closing the gap and more than 60% of non-Indigenous people and 70% of First Nations people want governments to do more. 

“More than half of the general community, and more than 60% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, also believe that the private sector must do more,” said Ms Mundine. 

“However, it is in the growing experiences of racism endured by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, revealed by the ARB, that we get an indicator of where Australia can do much better. 

“60% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people surveyed reported an experience of at least one form of racial prejudice in the past 6 months, an increase of 8% since 2020, and 17% since 2018. 

“57% of First Nations people believe that Australia remains a racist country, a view shared by 42% of non-Indigenous respondents,” she said. 

“As stories of racism in sport and workplaces and the death of a young Noongar man hit our front pages, and amid media reports on the appalling treatment of our children in detention centres, it is clear that as a nation, Australia can do better. 

“The 2022 ARB provides clear evidence that Australians are eager for change, and want a more united and cohesive nation,” she said. 

READ THE 2022 AUSTRALIAN RECONCILIATION BAROMETER

 

The ARB is undertaken every two years by Reconciliation Australia since 2008. It shows the attitudes and perceptions First Nations people and non-Indigenous Australians hold about each other and about key issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people. 

Key Data Points 

  • 93% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (95% in 2020) and 89% of Australians in the general community (91% in 2020) feel our relationship is important. 

  • 80% of the general community (86% in 2020) and 86% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (91% in 2020) believe it is important to establish a representative Indigenous Body. 

  • 63% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples said they trusted non-Indigenous people they have not interacted with, and non-Indigenous people felt the same way. 

  • But Trust levels rise steeply when people have social contact: 86% of non-Indigenous people expressing trust in First Nations people and 79% of First Nations trusting non-Indigenous people. 

  • Nearly all Australians (93%) want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a say in their own affairs, which may explain the continued strong support for a constitutionally enshrined Voice and considerable growth in support for treaty. Support for implementing proposed constitutional changes remains consistent with 82% of the general community (83% in 2020).   

  • 80% of the general community support ANZAC Day ceremonies to honour First Nations and non-Indigenous soldiers. 

  • 70% of the general community support the establishment of a national day of significance that celebrates First Nations histories and cultures. 

  • 60% of First Nations peoples have experienced at least one form of racial prejudice in the past 6 months (52% in 2020, 43% in 2018). This compares with 25% of non-Indigenous people. 

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