National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Dr Amareswar Galla
Executive Director, Australian Forum for Cultural Diversity, University of Canberra

Reconciliation in Multicultural Societies: Power and Location

The notion of reconciling differences and redressing past imbalances through revealing, reflexive and confronting approaches has become part of public policy in several countries. This paper looks at the location of power and cultural mediations in reconciliation discourse. The specific focus is on the comparative study of the South African National Parks system in post apartheid South Africa; the National Underground Rail Road System and African American freedom in the USA; and the Immigration and the Reconciliation Process in Australia. The argument is that the location of decision making and cultural discourse in binary structures of power, governing the relationships in reconciliation, is central to meaningful outcomes to the different approaches to confronting legacies that have resulted in continuing injustices in present day multicultural societies.

Amar has worked as a cultural equity and cross cultural policy specialist with indigenous and multicultural community and professional agencies in more than thirty countries, ranging from Canada and Australia to Belize, India and South Africa. He has an extensive publication record including transformation and reconciliation material such as Heritage Curricula and Cultural Diversity for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in Australia, 1993; Leading the Way, Corporate Plan for Transformation of the South African National Parks, Pretoria, 1997; Immigrants and the Aboriginal Reconciliation Process for the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, 1999. During 1986-93, he founded and directed the national affirmative action program in Canberra for the participation of Indigenous People in the Australian heritage and environmental sectors. He is the Chairperson of the Asia Pacific Executive Board of the International Council of Museums, ICOM (1998-2001). A member of the Working Group on Tourism, he also chairs the Working Group on Cross Cultural Issues of ICOM in Paris (1995-2001). In 1998, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of SBS Radio & TV.

Presentation Type
30 min paper

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Papers & Workshops