The Honourable Ben Wyatt MLA, Treasurer, Minister for Finance, Aboriginal Affairs, Lands joined City of Kalamunda staff and community members to review the City’s inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) on Monday 25 March in Lesmurdie.
A RAP is a business plan that uses a holistic approach to create meaningful relationships, enhanced respect and promote opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The City has worked with Danny Ford from Kambarang Services and the CSD (Community Spirit Development) Network and the community in the development of the draft.
Following a Welcome to Country by Elder Neville Collard, the group workshopped their thoughts, ideas and feedback on the Plan, which was adopted by Council for the purpose of public advertising in February 2019.
Mayor John Giardina said, “The City’s Plan, which is currently a draft, is referred to as a Reflect RAP – a Plan suited to organisations starting out their journey of reconciliation.
Our RAP commits to completing a number of actions around the themes of Respect, Relationships, Opportunities and Governance, as this will reinforce that as a Local Government Authority we will have time to build relationships with our community.”
Local Noongar Women Sharyn Yarran, “Our RAP is so important to the community for aboriginal people and also to the wider community. It is bringing really good opportunities for Aboriginal People. This is where it all comes together with education, culture and language. How important it is, the stories and the history for aboriginal people. It is important for us all in the City of Kalamunda”
“At the end of the day being a part of the RAP is empowering our people to take leadership for the upcoming generation, with elders, young aboriginal people and wadjila’s working together.”
“Being able to work with non-aboriginal people, and seeing the interest, coming together, working together, the unity, sharing of stories and history has been a brilliant.”
“At the end of the day, I really strongly feel in my heart that, our Council, our area, can really show the pathway for other regions. It flows from the top, it will flow like a river into the land. If we make it and we do the right thing, others will see what is happen, see the action, see reconciliation.”
The City initially undertook extensive research and community engagement to determine the best approach to reconciliation in 2017 and 2018.
This research revealed strong support for the development of a formal reconciliation action plan. The City continued its work with local aboriginal Elders, City residents and non-residents that have a significant connection to the area to come up with the draft.
The community are invited to share their feedback on the draft through written submissions or a survey which is available online and in hard copy throughout the month long feedback period, which closes 3 April.
Mayor John Giardina said the City was proud to deliver a Plan that reflected the community’s values and was looking forward to a bright and connected future.
“Our vision is for a vibrant and inclusive community, where people of all ages and backgrounds are welcomed, valued and encouraged to be active in the community.
To achieve this vision, we need to be culturally aware and taking steps to ensure that everyone in society is respected and supported. I am proud to present this Reflect RAP as a Council’s first formal commitment to advancing reconciliation.”
To view the draft Plan visit engage.kalamunda.wa.gov.au or contact the City of Kalamunda on 9257 9999 or firstname.lastname@example.org