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Statement of support from the General Council


In light of the outcome of the recent Referendum about a Voice to Parliament, the HCNSW would like to state its continuing support for the recognition of the diversity of historical perspectives, including those of First Nations peoples.  

The History Council of New South Wales (HCNSW) is the peak body for history in the state and consists of representatives from cultural and educational institutions, local history groups and heritage organisations. The HCNSW embraces and advocates studying the past and telling its stories as foundational to our sense of belonging, to our communities, to our economic well-being and to our shared future.

We acknowledge past injustices: that First Nations’ lands were seized without treaty, that massacres occurred, that families were separated, and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were denied basic human rights. We recognise that, despite overt and structural discrimination and extreme disadvantage, First Nations cultures remain strong and vital. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities hold deep knowledge about our shared history, about how to care for Country and for each other, and we will listen closely.

The HCNSW highlights truth-telling and the voices of Australia’s First Peoples as a critical element of the Value of History.  

The HCNSW will continue to advocate for an understanding of the history of contemporary issues that confront our communities, and through doing so, it will clarify misperceptions, reveal complexities, temper volatile viewpoints, and open people to new possibilities, leading to more effective solutions.  This is the value of History.

Image Credit: Painting “Caina Putut, IIya, Wartanganha ” – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow – by Chern’ee Sutton on display in the Royal Australian Mint Canberra.  Wikimedia Commons Share and Share Alike, 4.0.  Photographic credit:  Skyring