Reconciliation in action
Reconciliation in Action:
As a registered charity and non-profit organisation, ICV works in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage - we do things ‘with’, not ‘to’ or ‘for’ people. ICV operates by a principle of ‘Invitation’, working on projects with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities at their request.
Our human and community development approach is based around the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Building Blocks for overcoming disadvantage. And we added three important foundations, one of which is Reconciliation.
ICV helps Indigenous Australians overcome social and economic disadvantage and we do this with the skills, enthusiasm and dedication of volunteers from backgrounds as diverse as child care, technology, manufacturing, law, gardening, construction and medicine.
We connect skilled volunteers from the broader Australian community with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on human and community development projects - in this way promoting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
Experiences in the field can have a life-changing effect on volunteers.
ICV volunteer Peter from Canberra explains his perspective…
I got involved because I ridiculously thought I could save the world, or some part of it. But what I learnt as I went along through successive projects with ICV, was that the people I worked with as a volunteer were in fact teaching me.
Through ICV projects I learnt much about the disasters non-Indigenous Australia had been responsible for over the last couple of centuries. I learnt too how serious social and cultural damage continues to be done by new Australia, and how hard it is for my non-Indigenous nation to find solutions for the problems it has caused, and how frustratingly slow progress often is. And I learnt about the tolerance and generosity of spirit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have shown despite the provocations and disappointments they have suffered. I also observed how important small numbers of non-Indigenous Australians, working hard and effectively through organisations such as ICV, can be.
The fundamental truth for my non-Indigenous Australia is that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people preceded non-Indigenous people – physically, culturally and morally. That is an anthropological reality. For us non-Indigenous Australians, recognition of the common roots of community and humanity are our only way forward in this nearly intractable national issue, the issue we call reconciliation.