ACC Australia is committed to justice and equality for all regardless of race, colour or culture.
We echo and wholeheartedly endorse the sentiments expressed by Veta Richardson, President & CEO, Association of Corporate Counsel in the ACC Global Statement on 2 June 2020.
The Black experience and fight for justice around the world is as varied and diverse as Black people themselves.
In Australia, we are all too familiar with the violent dispossession and colonisation of the indigenous population, the Stolen Generation, and the disproportionately high incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Words are empty unless they are acted upon and ACC Australia is pleased to have taken the following initial steps:
- We have established a national Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) committee and this committee is currently developing a strategic plan to ensure all ACC Australia members are equipped with tools and resources to champion DEI causes in their organisations.
- The DEI committee is advocating the introduction an “acknowledgement of country” to all board, committee and DEI meetings from this point forward. The NSW committee has been doing this for several years. This is an important and simple way to acknowledge this country’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders whose ancestors date back over 60,000 years.
- The NSW committee and the DEI committee have both observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect for the life of George Floyd and we send heartfelt sympathies to his family and the Black community in the United States.
- We have a session (90 minutes) planned for our (virtual) In-house Legal Virtual Conference in November, where we will show a film by award-winning Aboriginal filmmaker, Rachel Perkins. Afterwards, activists Teela Reid and Thomas Mayor will share progress of the Uluru Statement from the Heart through which the indigenous population is seeking to have its voice enshrined into the Australian Constitution. The session will provide members with clear guidelines on how to submit support of this initiative.
- Please note that the global ACC annual conference will no longer be held the event in Minneapolis, and as per Veta’s Statement above, members have been called upon to use their influence, power and privilege to better the lives of all people who suffer due to their race, colour or culture.
It is a well-worn phrase but if we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem. We call upon ACC Australia members to use their influence, power and privilege to better the lives of all people who suffer due to their race, colour or culture.
As Veta said in her statement, “…Lady Justice may wear a blindfold symbolizing impartiality but the unacceptable reality for millions of people…around the world proves that we have much work to do to achieve this ideal...”
Many of our members have been on this journey to racial equality for some years. Let us all join with them and cross the finish line together.
Get up, stand up.