Truth-telling on the table as the voice vote fades

Kat WongAAP
Indigenous minister Linda Burney says the issue of truth-telling is incredibly important. (Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS)
Camera IconIndigenous minister Linda Burney says the issue of truth-telling is incredibly important. (Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Students could be taught a revamped curriculum as the federal government discusses the next steps in First Nations rights reform.

Nearly five months after Australians rejected the Indigenous voice referendum, the government has begun conversations about ways to implement other aspects of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Treaty and truth-telling are two other key pillars that the statement says would lay the foundation for substantive reform and help recognise and protect the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Indigenous Australians Minister and Wiradjuri woman Linda Burney says the government will take things as fast or as slow as the community wants.

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"There is enormous hurt and in many cases, dismay, at the outcome of the referendum, there is no two ways about that," she told ABC radio on Wednesday.

"I am having discussions with the cabinet.

"I'm not going to go in those discussions but the issue of truth-telling is incredibly important and there are many, many ways in which that can happen - including school curriculum."

By facilitating a shared understanding of Australia's colonial history and its modern-day impacts, the truth-telling process would help reveal the full extent of injustice felt by First Nations people.

Asked if Australia would model its endeavours on nations like South Africa, Ms Burney said the government was still "thinking very carefully" but noted local community efforts to understand the Myall Creek massacre.

During the incident in 1838, at least 28 unarmed Indigenous Australians from the Wirrayaraay group were killed by a group of stockmen.

Descendants of the perpetrators and those killed gather annually at the Myall Creek Memorial to recall the massacre in an act of reconciliation Ms Burney described as "quite beautiful".

The Indigenous Australians minister also acknowledged treaty processes were underway in some jurisdictions, but did not reveal whether the federal government would embark on its own initiative.

"That work of treaty goes on at the state and territory level and we will work closely obviously with those processes," she said.

"It would be wrong and rude of me, and us as a government, to move in a direction that is not comfortable with the community."

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese committed to implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full during his 2022 election victory speech.

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