Why is this important?
Councils demonstrate serious intent and respect by ensuring that negotiated positions and agreed projects and activities with the Aboriginal community are reflected in key council plans and policy statements. They can drive such commitments by ensuring Aboriginal participation in council advisory and engagement structures.
Inclusion of Aboriginal people in the development of policy and service frameworks and legislated planning instruments such as Council Plans and Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plans helps promote transparency and accountability, and provides a mechanism for monitoring and evaluating progress towards improved engagement and outcomes with the local Aboriginal community and organisations.
Formal commitments are a powerful statement and send a clear message to the Aboriginal community, the broader community and to council staff.
What can your council do?
The 2012 Victorian Local Government Aboriginal Engagement and Reconciliation Survey found that 42 councils included Aboriginal specific strategies, commitments or initiatives in one or more key documents such as Council Plans and Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans. Thirty-eight councils said that they had a formal plan such as a Partnership Agreement, reconciliation plan, Inclusion Plan or similar in place, of which ten are Reconciliation Action Plans registered with Reconciliation Australia.
Good practice examples:
Reconciliation Australia’s Strategic Plan 2017-2022
Uluru Statement 2017
Redfern Speech 1992
Closing the Gap – Prime Minister’s annual report
Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission
“We are proud of our Indigenous Advisory Committee, Cultural Indigenous Employment Strategy, our Jindi Woraback (youth mentoring) program, the Burrinja Art Gallery, the meeting place garden at Healesville opened this year, our support of Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Centre, Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association and our new project in Healesville that will be telling the story of our local Indigenous peoples.”
– Yarra Ranges Shire
Last Updated: November 20, 2018 at 3:32 pm