Posted: 16 Jul. 2021 5 min. read

Voice, Treaty, Truth-Telling: The Pathway to a better Australia

My name is Bianca Isaacson, a proud Mitakoodi woman from NW QLD and Consultant in the Technology, Strategy and Transformation practice in Brisbane. Every NAIDOC Week, I find myself circling on emotions of pride and happiness to despair and sadness. Pride and happiness because my culture has come a long way in overcoming the challenges of colonisation and intergenerational trauma and are actively taking back the control and pride in who we are as First Nations people. Despair and sadness because globally we still have some of the highest rates in all the wrong places and there is still so much voice, treaty and truth-telling to be done in order to achieve reconciliation within this nation.

It is evident that this country has made progress from the origins of NAIDOC in 1938 where one of the world’s first social activist groups vocalised the inequality and inhumane treatment of First Nation’s people. Today in 2021, we are celebrating a lot for our First Nation’s people–16 First Nation athletes heading to the Tokyo Olympics, Channel 10 using traditional country names, our state governments are beginning discussions around the establishment of treaties with traditional owners and Ash Barty taking home the Wimbledon Cup!

It’s been a whirlwind of a week and I truly feel there is much more widespread momentum, passion and drive from the entire country which can only be pinpointed to two key things –increased visibility by mainstream media and non-Indigenous people and organisations making a genuine effort to engage in reconciliation. It ‘only’ took 83 years to see this type of progress, but I feel a shared sense of optimism that this country is moving towards reconciliation in a positive manner. Although it is brilliant to see these milestones in the form of sports and mainstream media, there are still significant challenges to overcome in the very place that originally designed a system and constitution for the Crown and her people–Government.

These critical challenges are at the core of Deloitte’s Indigenous agenda for reconciliation and this NAIDOC Week, Deloitte and the McKell Institute hosted a virtual panel with high profile leaders: Senator Pat Dodson, Dr Jackie Huggins and Minister Leeanne Enoch. All three leaders gave so much truth and honesty about how far this nation has to go in evolving our systemic structure and constitution where First Nation’s voices are at the forefront, leading and embedding our culture and traditional practices into the way we operate as a whole.

The Co-Chair of NAIDOC stated this year at the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) NAIDOC Breakfast that we have nothing to lose, only everything to gain in creating a system that reconciles and restores the culture that this country is rebuilding.

As a young and proud Indigenous woman, I have such great pride and confidence that our firm, Deloitte Australia, will be a leader both nationally and globally on how to address reconciliation in an authentic and organic manner. I've personally never felt more accepted and proud to be who I am today and working in a firm that acknowledges culture and individuality as a strength is a testament to that. I very much look forward to seeing the continued change we can drive and make an impact that matters together.


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