Our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2017-2020 is driven by our Reconciliation Policy that stipulates that 'reconciliation is about building better relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal peoples for the benefit of all Australians'.
We have long embraced the importance of reconciliation and the significant role we can play in it. All actions included in the RAP have arisen through community conversations and are built upon 15 years of reconciliation efforts.
We are proud to have worked closely with the Whittlesea Reconciliation Group (WRG) to develop this plan, and we will report regularly to the group on its progress.
The Stretch RAP has 27 actions that we will deliver over the next 4 years under the 3 pillars of Respect, Relationships and Opportunities.
Key actions include:
- treaty circles with local community members
- undertaking detailed planning for a local Aboriginal lead Gathering Place
- Aboriginal cultural competency training for Council staff and Councillors
- continuing support for Bubup Wilam
- employment target of 2% of all Council staff being Aboriginal by October 2020
Our Reconciliation history
- 2001 - Council establishes the Whittlesea Reconciliation Group
- 2002 - Council adopts an inaugural Indigenous Reconciliation Policy
- 2005 - Koori Christmas BBQ established
- 2007 - Reconciliation Dinner and National Sorry Day events established
- 2007 - Aboriginal Liaison Officer Position is established
- 2009 - Aboriginal Project Officer for Bubup Wilam is established as a fixed-term position
- 2010 - Youth Services Officer (Aboriginal portfolio) is established as a full-time permanent position
- 2010 - The first Aboriginal community-controlled organisation in Whittlesea was incorporated – Bubup Wiliam for Early Learning Centre Inc
- 2011 - The Traditional Owner Acknowledgement Statement is translated into eight local languages
- 2011 - Local Aboriginal Elders Social Support group established
- 2012 - The Bubup Wilam for Early Learning Centre is officially opened
- 2012 - Aboriginal Employment Pathways Strategy is adopted by Council
- 2012 - The city of Whittlesea Reconciliation Action Plan is adopted by Council
- 2013 - 146 senior Council staff attend Cultural Awareness training
- 2014 - Construction of Council’s Sorry Space (dedicated to the Stolen Generations) is completed
- 2014 - Establishment of biannual meetings with the Aboriginal community and CEO and Mayor
- 2015 - Council adopts an updated Aboriginal Reconciliation Policy & Aboriginal Inclusion Charter
- 2015 - Council adopts Building Respect: Whittlesea’s Anti-racism Strategy 2015 -2019
On National Sorry Day 2014, Council and the WRG unveiled the City of Whittlesea's Sorry Space - a community reflective space dedicated to members of the Stolen Generations and the Traditional Owners of this land, the Wurundjeri Willum people.
The Sorry Space displays a plaque that was presented to Council by Connecting Home and features a stone plinth for smoking ceremonies and fire rituals.