28 May, 2015

Manningham Council has celebrated National Reconciliation Week by adopting in principle the revised Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2015-2017 and hosting a launch that kicked off a week of special events to honour our Indigenous culture and heritage.

Manningham Mayor Cr Paul McLeish said he was proud to be part of a council and community that not only recognised the Indigenous people as the first Australians but continues to value Indigenous heritage and plays an active role in promoting an awareness of the history and culture of Indigenous peoples.

“Council started this year’s National Reconciliation Week by adopting in principle Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan on Sorry Day, a day which recognises that we as a nation are sorry for the past injustices of our nation towards Indigenous people.”

“Then, on the anniversary of both the 1967 Referendum which removed from the Constitution clauses that discriminated against Indigenous Australians, local school children and residents joined with Wurundjeri elders to celebrate reconciliation.”

Cr McLeish said it is important for the community to reflect on how far we have come but also acknowledge the impact that past government decisions had on Indigenous people and the challenges they still face.

“The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2015 is ‘It’s time to change it up’ which inspires us to take a fresh look at the way we can take an active role in our schools, workplace or community to share culture and stop racism.”

Manningham Council has taken a “fresh look” at its RAP and now the community has the opportunity to comment on the revised document, a set of principles which recognise Council’s role in the process of reconciliation.

“The RAP seeks include our diverse community and unite us all in the journey of reconciliation.”

“Guided by these principles the RAP proposes a set of strategic actions through which we look to progress the reconciliation needs and aspirations of our community, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

The RAP is broken into three themes:

Relationships – actions which aim to build respect between Indigenous people and the wider community
Respect – This speaks to how we will respect and acknowledge the Wurrundjeri and their relationships to the land 
Opportunities – where we take other action to provide new opportunities for Reconciliation

Cr McLeish said the plan also includes a change to the Acknowledgement of Country, and a change to when and where we fly the Flags of Australia.

“Manningham Council has been recognised nationally in the past for its RAP and I encourage everyone to come together to support this latest revision.”

“The RAP is on public exhibition for six weeks from 1 June and I look forward to hearing the views of our community on this important matter,” he said.

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