Celebrating National Reconciliation Week 2020

Published on 26 May 2020

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Each year National Reconciliation Week, held from 27 May – 3 June, celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

This year’s theme for National Reconciliation Week 2020 is ‘In This Together’.

2020 also marks the twentieth anniversary of the memorable reconciliation walks of 2000, when people came together to walk on bridges and roads across the nation and show their support for a more reconciled Australia.

At its Council Meeting on 10 December 2019, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council adopted its Reconciliation Action Plan Innovate 2020-2022. The Plan was later endorsed by Reconciliation Australia on 1 April 2020.

The Reconciliation Action Plan was informed by a comprehensive consultation process engaging Traditional Owner groups, local Aboriginal organisations, Aboriginal peak bodies, Councillors, Shire staff, and the broader community.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Sam Hearn said the Reconciliation Action Plan consultations were overwhelmingly positive and demonstrated a compelling commitment to reconciliation.

“As a local council, we have an important role to play in promoting and celebrating Aboriginal cultural heritage, arts and cultures as part of the intrinsic identity and value of the Mornington Peninsula.

“The Shire is proud to be working with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to support meaningful social, cultural and economic outcomes. We know that to do this, strong relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities must be at the heart of our work.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities must be at the heart of our work. We are committed to listening to and learning from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including Elders and young people, to ensure that our efforts directly support the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

“Council’s vision is to ‘value, protect and improve the unique characteristics and way of life on our peninsula’. This Reconciliation Action Plan will help to ensure our vision applies equally to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on the Mornington Peninsula,” concluded Councillor Hearn.

Since developing our first Reconciliation Policy and Action Plan (2016 - 2018), the Shire has many achievements to celebrate including:

  • appointing the Senior Social Planner – Aboriginal Culture and Community Development to the Shire’s Executive.
  • strengthening our human resources practices.
  • introducing cultural awareness and respect training for Councillors and staff.
  • Mornington Peninsula Shire Council stand for the Acknowledgment of Country in Council Meetings.
  • working to ensure that our services are culturally safe, inclusive and accessible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and their families.
  • the Shire engaged the services of the Indigenous Hip Hop Project to ask young people living on the Mornington Peninsula what they wanted included in the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and they responded with their own rap for the ‘RAP’.   This unique approach was a collaboration between the Shire’s Warringinee Group and Youth Services.

To view Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan Innovate 2020-2022 visit: mornpen.vic.gov.au/strategiesandplans 

To learn more about National Reconciliation Week visit: reconciliation.org.au/national-reconciliation-week

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