Expert to talk on history of reconciliation in Australia and New Zealand 


Apology, reconciliation and the process of saying sorry to Indigenous peoples in Australia and New Zealand will be the subject of a public lecture at Charles Darwin University on Monday, 24 October.

The NT Committee for Human Rights Education (NTCHRE) will host the lecture by CDU Pro Vice-Chancellor of Law, Education, Business and Arts, Professor Giselle Byrnes entitled: “Settling History: Paying for the Past in Australia and New Zealand”.

The talk will consider public gestures of apology and reconciliation at the level of the nation-state in particular, the process of saying sorry to Indigenous peoples in Australia, and the modern Treaty of Waitangi claims process in New Zealand, each of which can be understood more generally as attempts to respond to the aftermath and ongoing consequences of colonisation.

Professor Byrnes’ research examined colonial history in both countries, followed by a detailed critique of the processes, as they have developed over the last decade or so in Australia and almost thirty years in New Zealand.
Professor Byrnes recently joined CDU from the University of Waikato, New Zealand, where she was Professor of History and Pro Vice-Chancellor Postgraduate. She has published widely on aspects of colonial and postcolonial history and her most recent book is The New Oxford History of New Zealand (2009).

NTCHRE president, Jeswynn Yogaratnam said the lecture aimed to promote public education on important human rights issues and education after securing the recent Federal Government Attorney General’s Human Rights Grant.

The event will be held on Monday, 24 October at 5:30pm in the Mal Nairn Auditorium, Charles Darwin University.