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Redistribution not reconciliation: The next step for First Nations justice

2 min read
First Nations justice

First Nations Futures, an economic justice organisation creating new systems of funding for First Nations initiatives, is launching the Redistribution Week Campaign during National Reconciliation Week.  

This campaign amplifies voices advocating for redistribution as the next step in First Nations justice. 

Kaytetye woman and co-founder of First Nations Futures, Rona Glynn-McDonald, believes this shift in the national conversation is necessary after the outcome of the 2023 Voice Referendum. 

“We saw a lot of hard work go into the referendum, but the majority of Australians fell short in backing the movement towards the voice.” 

“While I acknowledge that reconciliation has been a movement that has brought many people together to begin truth-telling and connecting to the injustices of the past and present, it’s time for people to take the next step in standing in solidarity with First Nations people by redistributing what our communities are owed”  

Redistribution Week is a five-day online campaign, where people will learn from First Nations experts about redistributing wealth, land, power, labour and responsibility.  

These experts include respected activist Robbie Thorpe, Land Back advocate Phillip Winzer, and GetUp! CEO Larissa-Baldwin Roberts, founder of Black Wattle Coaching Caroline Kell and advocate/musician Neil Morris (DRMNGNOW). 

The campaign is endorsed by Gamilaroi man Tony Armstrong, who in a short tongue-in-cheek skit suggests that non-Indigenous Australia can keep the Reconciliation cupcakes if they can “return what’s due” to First Nations people. 

This alludes to the copious morning teas that take place during National Reconciliation Week in workplaces and educational institutions across the country, questioning the superficial gesture and subtly demanding more tangible outcomes for First Nations justice. 

“We now have pathways for anyone to be able to stand in solidarity with our communities, and move beyond token gestures to restore balance.” 

“Since the first moments of colonisation, and through land theft and stolen wealth, non-Indigenous people have had disproportionate power and access to resources, while First Nations initiatives don’t have the autonomous and sustainable funding to meet their needs. Redistribution as the next step towards First Nations justice” said Rona.  

Anyone can participate in the educational campaign through First Nations Futures social media platforms and email newsletter.  

Through free-to-download posters, social media assets and calls to action, First Nations Futures is creating accessible conversation starters to reflect on our history and imagine our future. 

Currently, there are very few avenues for First Nations initiatives to receive sustainable long-term funding that responds to their needs and priorities.  

As published by Philanthropy Australia, current data estimates that “in Australia, only 0.5 per cent of philanthropic funding goes to First Nations communities.” Funding systems in Australia are designed to compound existing inequities and create more barriers for First Nations people to drive their own futures. 

This campaign ultimately encourages every person in Australia to challenge the story of injustice and consider joining hundreds of co-investors redistributing their wealth with First Nations Futures. 

The campaign will run from May 27 to June 03.  

First Nations Futures (FNF) was established to respond to the economic barriers that First Nations people face within funding systems. The not-for-profit is led by a collective of First Nations people who have come together to build a new funding platform for First Nations community-driven initiatives across Australia to receive unrestricted and sustainable funding.  

For more on the youth justice system, check out Third Sector’s 2nd National Youth Justice Forum.

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Third Sector provides high-level content and services for professional development and organisational growth to leaders and senior executives from Australia’s NFP sector and its supporting industries.


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