Historic Reconciliation Action Plan goes out for public comment
Published on 05 March 2015
In what is being seen as a historic moment for Mildura Rural City Council, Council’s draft Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is now on exhibition for public comment.
The RAP program, which was developed by Reconciliation Australia, helps organisations to develop business plans which enhance and build on relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and all other Australians.
Council approached Reconciliation Australia in 2014 about the program and since then, has coordinated a working group with the aim of developing a plan to find ways for Council to work more closely with local Aboriginal residents.
Arts and Culture portfolio Councillor Jill Joslyn said the RAP working group, which included Councillors, Council staff and members of the Aboriginal Action Committee had come up with a definitive and thorough plan, with clear goals and outcomes for the future.
“Council’s RAP sets out specifically Council’s commitment to developing relationships with our indigenous community through mutual respect, inclusiveness, equity and cultural awareness,” Cr Joslyn explained. “It looks at everything from how we as an organisation can build on and further develop our already strong relationships and how Council can increase the opportunities for Aboriginal people to participate socially and economically in the wider community.
“This is a collaborative plan that takes into account the local cultural, economic and social landscape and looks to find solutions to balance all these aspects and have the best outcomes for the whole community.
“At the end of the day if any one part of our community is suffering or being treated unfairly, then the whole community suffers,” Cr Joslyn said.
Chair of Council’s Aboriginal Action Committee, Sandra Stewart said the committee is excited and encouraged by Council’s leadership around reconciliation and their partnerships with the local Koorie community.
“We see this as a major step forward in their ongoing commitment towards Reconciliation,” Ms Stewart said. “I encourage all members of community, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous to have a look at the Draft Reconciliation Action Plan and provide feedback.”
The draft RAP is now available for public comment and feedback from Council Services Centres, libraries and online at http://www.mildura.vic.gov.au/About-Council/Have-your-Say, with comments closing on Thursday 26 March 2015.
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