This month's guest councillor column (previously featured in the Community Update page in The Echo) was written by Deputy President, Cr Lynn Fisher, in the lead up to NAIDOC Week 2019.
July in Focus: Cr Lynn Fisher
NAIDOC 2019 week commences 8 July. The theme is Voice, Treaty, Truth. Let's Work Together for a Shared Future.
A celebratory public event is held at the Shire Administration on Monday 8 July at 10 am. Local Whadjuk teacher Cindy Nelson will welcome the community and then take us to Sculpture Park to learn about and experience Aboriginal culture.
Some Local Governments have developed Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP) to formalise positive relationships with Aboriginal residents and implement strategies for honouring Aboriginal heritage and for building a shared future.
Local Whadjuk elders, senior Whadjuk people and local Aboriginal communities and groups have supported the Shire of Mundaring for several years in laying the groundwork for the Shire to develop a RAP on behalf of the whole district. A RAP is not a Shire plan, it is a community plan.
The Shire has a community directory of First Australian people and groups and is developing a procurement services directory to engage with Aboriginal-run organisations and businesses.
The Shire displays the Aboriginal, State and National flags at its premises and celebrates NAIDOC Week and other First Australian people events with the wider community.
To continue this commitment to reconciliation, the Shire will commence community consultation, in the coming months, to learn about perceptions of what a RAP is and how we can all become part of the plan.
Reconciliation processes are significant undertakings. To achieve positive and effective outcomes that are embraced by the whole of the district, takes time.
At a state level, there are encouraging changes in legislation that will involve us at the local government level.
The desired outcome of the review of the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act (1972) is legislation that protects Aboriginal cultural heritage and is current best practice in heritage management and the rights of Aboriginal people under national and international law.
The scope is proposed to include appropriate care of ancestral remains, of places that are cultural landscapes and of place-based intangible heritage. Those are very big steps forward.
Cr Lynn Fisher
- The July 2019 Ordinary Council Meeting is being held on Tuesday July 9. For full details and to download the agenda click here.