Aboriginal Action Committee

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Council's Aboriginal Action Committee (AAC) was established in late 2011 as a way of strengthening Council’s relationships and engagement with the local Aboriginal community. 

The purpose of the AAC is to ‘improve and enhance the wellbeing of the Aboriginal community in the Mildura Rural City Council municipality’.

The AAC meet bi-monthly at Council’s Deakin Avenue Service Centre. 

Committee membership consists of community members, Elders, representatives from key local Aboriginal organisations and committees and two Councillors.

Meet our current members:

Andrew Arden

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Position:
Community

Tribe: Latji Latji on his mother's side and Gunditjmara on his father's side.

What has the AAC done for you and why should Aboriginal people be involved in the AAC: "Being part of the AAC is an honour, I enjoy my time and being able to voice my opinion on things that may impact the region. It is a good opportunity to help shape the future of our region and assisting in bringing positive change to my community."

Jacob Hunt

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Position: (IFVRAG) Regional Indigenous Family Violence Action Group

Achievements: Chairperson of the Mallee Dhelk Dja Action Group

Janine Wilson

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Position:
Elder

Tribe: Latji Latji

Achievements: Janine has advocated for the family violence sector for 16 years, while also working with the Loddon Mallee Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action Group - much of that time as chair.

What has the AAC done for you and why should Aboriginal people be involved in the AAC: "As an Indigenous person, being involved with the AAC has given me a great sense of pride in seeing enormous changes towards Indigenous people in the Sunraysia area. A number of local level changes have taken place while I have been involved with the group, such as the implementation of acknowledgement plaques of traditional owners statement at the main entrance of Council buildings.

"I have also seen the introduction of an Acknowledgement of Country statement at the commencement of each Council meeting, which gives me a great sense of pride for our people. These changes have taken place through the driving force of the AAC and the implementation of the Reconciliation Action Plan. I have been involved with a number of local Aboriginal committees in the Mildura area and have found to make real change for the lives of Aboriginal people in our community, we must become involve and speak up."

Patsy Doolan

Position: (LAJAC) Local Aboriginal Justice Action Committees


Tribe:
 Barkindji/Paakantyi 

Achievements: Patsy is involved in other areas of the community, including the Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (LAECG), the Koori Courts, Umalek Balit, while also acting as Chair of the Mallee Aboriginal Government Employee Network (MAGEN).

What has the AAC done for you and why should Aboriginal people be involved in the AAC: "As a member of the Mildura Rural City Council (MRCC) Aboriginal Action Committee (AAC), I have been working to give the local Aboriginal community a voice in Council decision-making. I believe the partnership with Council is very important, as it acknowledges the ongoing Aboriginal connection to the community, its peoples and lands that it meets on.

"The AAC has played an important role in a number of projects with Council, including the development of the riverfront, the MRCC Regional Action Plan (RAP), the Reconciliation Week March, the NAIDOC Corroboree and the service for Orange Ribbon week."

Thelma Chilly

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Position: (LAN) Local Aboriginal Networks 

Tribe: Ties to the Wiradjuri, Muthi Muthi, Wemba Wemba and Yorta Yorta Tribes

Achievements: Thelma has worked within the Aboriginal community/communities in the Mallee for more than 30 years. She has worked for the Department of Human Services in the Indigenous Family Violence Support Officer role, and also for the Mallee Domestic Violence Service. Thelma has extensive knowledge of family violence and its impact on the community. She currently works for Aboriginal Victoria, and is also responsible for the Local Aboriginal Networks in Robinvale, Mildura and Swan Hill in the Northern Loddon Mallee Region. Thelma's work is Community Development focused, and she works closely with Local Government.

What has the AAC done for you and why should Aboriginal people be involved in the AAC: "The Local Aboriginal Networks (LANs) has worked for a number of years to strengthen relationships with Local Government, and I like to think the creation of the AAC has been a part of this work. I believe that our connection to Local Government is very important, and has created some genuine relationships/friendships with Council staff and Councillors.

"I also believe that MRCC is doing all they can to support the ATSI community in the municipality. I am proud knowing that the Corroboree is an event that I have had involvement in over the past three years. I look forward to the time when we will see our Aboriginal Culture Centre in the Riverfront Development." 

Jenene Murray

Jenene Murray

Position: (LAECG) Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group

Tribe: Wiradjuri 

Achievements: Jenene is a respected member of the community, and also an active member of the AAC for the past five years. Jenene’s connection to community has given her the opportunity to bring to the AAC "a true reflection" of the local Koorie community, and how it impacts on Council decision-making regarding the future of the community. Jenene shares the view that strong partnerships with Council is important as it acknowledges the Aboriginal ongoing connection to the area.

What has the AAC done for you and why should Aboriginal people be involved in the AAC: "As an AAC member, I have supported a number of projects with Council, including the development of the riverfront, the MRCC Regional Action Plan (RAP), the Reconciliation Week march, the NAIDOC Corroboree event and the service for Ochre Ribbon week. I have been also involved in other areas of the community, including the Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (LAECG) as Chairperson, Mildura LAN, Mildura LAJAC and supported the opening of the Orange Door." 

Sandra Stewart

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Position: Elder

Tribe: Wemba Wemba

Achievements: Sandra is a founding member of the Mildura Rural City Council (MRCC) Aboriginal Action Committee (AAC), working to create an avenue that would give the local Koorie community a voice in Council decision-making.

What has the AAC done for you and why should Aboriginal people be involved in the AAC: "I believe the partnership with Council is important as it acknowledges the Aboriginal ongoing connection to the area. The AAC has played an important role in a number of projects with Council, including the development of the riverfront, the MRCC Regional Action Plan (RAP), the Reconciliation Week march, the NAIDOC Corroboree and the service for Orange Ribbon week. I have also been involved in other areas of the community, including the Koorie Courts, the Orange Door Advisory Committee, and the Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (LAECG), and as a Ministerial appointment to the state Victims of Crime Consultative Committee."

The AAC has demonstrated huge commitment in working alongside Council, demonstrating positive relationships and ongoing communication between Council and the community, to make positive and sustainable change.

Some key achievements of the AAC to date can be found on our Aboriginal Heritage Page

More Information

Contact our Social Inclusion Officer
Phone: (03) 5018 8100