Why is this important?
In 2012 Reconciliation Australia’s bi-annual Reconciliation Barometer found that nine out of 10 Australians feel that the relationship between Aboriginal people and other Australians is important.
Reconciliation Australia has developed a nationally recognised framework to support the development of Reconciliation Action Plans. Six councils in Victoria have formally lodged their plan with Reconciliation Australia and report annually on implementation. Read more here.
Over the past decade many councils have progressed their commitment to reconciliation by signing statements of commitment, adopting policies and entering into agreements with Aboriginal groups and communities, and adopting Reconciliation Action Plans or similar.
Reconciliation Action Plans emphasise changes within an organisation, rather than on programs delivered. This approach recognises the importance of improving the understanding and attitude towards Aboriginal people by non-Aboriginal people working within the organisation.
As a public commitment, Reconciliation Action Plans send a strong signal of council’s commitment to improved partnerships with Aboriginal people.
What can your council do?
Councils can develop commitments and plans in partnership with the local Aboriginal community. Reconciliation Action Plans can be registered with Reconciliation Australia.
The 2012 Victorian Local Government Aboriginal Engagement and Reconciliation Survey found that other councils have developed their own reconciliation or inclusion plans.
Councils can also work with other community groups such as local reconciliation groups to promote actions that support reconciliation. (See ‘Fostering reconciliation throughout the community’)