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Developing relationships and addressing historical wounds between First Nations Peoples and non-Indigenous Australians


By addressing unresolved mistrust and the deep wounds caused by colonisation, the trustbuilding team organises events and dialogues that bring non-Indigenous Australians and First Nations Peoples closer together. We are walking alongside communities on the path to building trust and recognition.

Why is trust needed? 

Australia’s history of colonisation continues to impact the health of its communities. Colonisation has resulted in inequity, racism and the disruption of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The divide between non-Indigenous Australians and First Nations Peoples has remained deep and painful. 
The trustbuilding project began as a response to the invitation by First Nations leaders to all Australians to join in ‘a movement towards fair and truthful relationships’. Their vision for the movement was expressed in the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’, issued in 2017 at a national convention to consider changes to the Constitution, which has no recognition of the 60,000 years of First Nations’ possession and heritage on the Australian continent. 

The agenda of establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament at a national level, a Makarrata Commission to oversee forming a treaty and truth-telling process, has yet to be taken seriously by the federal government. However, some states are moving in that direction. 
IofC Australia’s trustbuilding project grew from the intention to participate in a movement towards this national agenda, launched as ‘Our Uluru Response’. 

How is trust built?

White male speaking to semi-circle of white and indigenous Australians outdoors
Truth-telling and truth-hearing

The trustbuilding methodology is used to connect and transform relationships in safe spaces. In-depth workshops and dialogues are co-designed with First Nations people to reveal the true history, facilitating personal change and enabling acceptance of the other. 

Three women and one man smile at the camera during an outreach event
Forming positive relationships

Relationships are built between non-Indigenous Australians and First Nations Peoples through dialogues and events, such as yarning circles and historical site visits.

Learn more about Trustbuilding in Australia

Margaret Hepworth
Executive Officer IofC Australia

Sarah Naarden
Trustbuilding Project Manager

Amiel Nubaha
IofC Australia Board Member

David Clisby
IofC Australia Board Member

Caroline Edwards

Mike Brown

Ron Lawler