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The long road to Reconciliation.

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Senator Rachel Siewert Australian Greens Senator for WA

MEDIA RELEASE Monday 15th August 2005 The long road to Reconciliation A journey to the heart - by bicycle While our Prime Minister continues to refuse to say 'sorry' for past (and present) injustices and the plight of Australia's first peoples continues to worsen, a group of extraordinary Australians are on the move for Reconciliation. The group, led by Dominican friar, Father Peter Murnane, put rubber to the road and set out on the first leg of the 2737km journey from our nation's capital in Canberra to its spiritual heart at Uluru. "In setting out on the long road to Reconciliation this group of caring Australians are showing the path to healing for all of us" said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Green's spokesperson on Indigenous Affairs. "I hope that this community campaign will continue to gain momentum as you take your message of practical reconciliation down the road to our spiritual heartland" she said. "Australia calls itself a first world nation, yet our Indigenous people have life expectancy rates worse than many in the third world and struggle to access the most basic of services," Senator Siewert said. "The life of our Indigenous families is characterized by under-privilege and poor health, where bad living conditions and reduced opportunities for education and employment contribute to significantly higher rates of suicide and imprisonment," said Senator Siewert. "In recent decades other first-world nations have improved the plight of their first peoples while Australia can only hang its head in shame." A core group of six riders will make the entire journey, with many others joining them along the way - as they peddle their way though Yass, Harden, Cootamundra, Junee, Narrandera, Hay, Balranald, Mildura, Renmark, Burra, Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Woomera and Coober Pedy before reaching Uluru. Joining them for the first leg of the tour was ACT Greens MP Deb Foskey, and the Anglican and Catholic Bishops of Canberra and Goulburn. A Green motion urging the immediate comprehensive roll-out of non-sniffable Opal fuel throughout the Central Desert Regions of Australia was put on notice by Senator Bob Brown last week, and the pressure in building on both sides of the house to support this initiative. For more information or comment call 0407 725 025 Email |