Shire one step closer to Reconciliation

Published on Monday, 14 February 2022 at 3:05:22 PM

Shire of Mundaring is one step closer to implementing its first Reconciliation Action Plan 2022 to 2024 (RAP).

A draft Reconciliation Action Plan (draft Plan) was unanimously approved for lodgement with Reconciliation Australia this week.

Shire President James Martin said a Reconciliation Action Plan was a formal commitment to reconciliation, driven by the key themes of Relationships, Respect and Opportunities.

“The Shire has been working on developing a RAP since 2019,” he said.

“The draft Plan was developed following extensive consultation with 200 people including 150 local Aboriginal people, Reconciliation Australia, Traditional Owners, service providers and local community groups and businesses.

“I am proud that as a Council we are ready to take the next step to implement our first RAP and we are working towards reconciliation.

“The full process to accreditation can take up to six months and we look forward to receiving, and acting on, feedback from Reconciliation Australia in due course.”

Implementing an Innovate RAP

Reconciliation Australia endorses four different types of Action Plans an organisation can develop, reflective of the various stages of reconciliation they might be at.

Cr Martin said the Shire had chosen to adopt the second tier, an Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.

“The Shire has already taken a number of steps over recent years to engage and empower the local Aboriginal community,” he said.

“This includes celebrating and supporting local Aboriginal culture and history, providing health and well-being services for Aboriginal families and consultation with local Aboriginal people in decision making.”

“An Innovate RAP outlines actions that the Shire will undertake to work towards meeting the community’s unique vision of reconciliation which was created through the consultation phase.”

Once the Shire receives accreditation from Reconciliation Australia, it will begin implementing its 18 actions to be achieved over two years.

“These actions include creating meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; enhancing respect and promoting sustainable opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; and engaging staff and stakeholders in reconciliation.”

The Shire’s Reconciliation Journey

Cr Martin said 200 responses were received during the consultation period in December 2021 and this feedback helped inform the draft Plan.

“A strong theme emerged with the community keen to see a celebration of Aboriginal culture and an enhanced respect, acknowledgement and awareness of the local history,” he said.

The Reconciliation Action Plan process

Once received, Reconciliation Australia will review the draft Plan and provide feedback. The final stages include receiving accreditation, enabling the Shire to implement the Plan.

Cr Martin acknowledged Cr John Daw for continuing to advocate for the Plan when the process was delayed due to competing COVID priorities.

“The Plan is the result of the hard work that Cr Daw, along with our fellow Councillors, have put in over the years,” he said.

An annual budget of $10,000 has been allocated to support implementation of the Plan.

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