National Reconciliation Week runs every year 27 May to 3 June, commemorating the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.
Bendigo is in a good place on its reconciliation journey, but there is still work to be done, according to a region Elder.
Dja Dja Wurrung Group CEO Rodney Carter said Bendigo's approach to reconciliation could frame other cities' response to recognising injustice and disadvantage of their respective First Nations peoples.
"Regionally and outside of metros, there's people facing things in a more challenging way," Mr Carter said.
"What we need to do is keep having these complex conversations, and be a positive example for other areas of Victoria and Australia that might not be fortunate enough to be properly considered in conversations."
While Mr Carter feels Bendigo is a "safe and comfortable place" for himself and other Indigenous Australians, certain attitudes within the community could be "potentially harmful and challenging".
"Extend the conversation to those less faithful around (reconciliation), introduce it even though it's maybe uncomfortable in the normal conversations we have," he said.
The introduction of themes of reconciliation within conversations would have a trickle down effect, Mr Carter said, normalising hard subjects that would benefit society for generations to come.
"Once we get to a place of normalising those that are less fortunate and disadvantaged, we'll societally be in a much better place," he said.
"An addition, not a subtraction": Voice equations
The 2023 theme for National Reconciliation Week calls on Australians to Be a Voice for Generations, by addressing the need to acknowledge history through their vote in the Voice referendum later this year.
When it comes to the Voice, Mr Carter likes to keep it simple.
"My people just want to have a greater say," he said.
Mr Carter said many First Nations people feel "they can't get a word in" on matters that effect them, and the Voice would provide a platform for contribution without changing the architecture of governance in Australia.
"People who talk conspiracy theories, or say it's not good enough, they're stuck in a negative space.
"They don't see the advantage of what it will actually bring.
"It's an addition, not a subtraction."
Mr Carter said the Voice exemplified an understanding of the need for government and our social fabric to represent diversity to benefit everyday life for all Australians.
"We know, in terms of diverse involvement and opinions across cultures and genders is a really good thing to do," he said.
"I think that's where it's really important."
Marking Reconciliation Week in Bendigo
Wondering how to get in involved with Reconciliation Week in Bendigo? Check out these events:
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