Plan to strengthen reconciliation

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
The Bunbury Geographe Growth Plan Partnership Steering Committee prioritised the reconciliation action plan.
Camera IconThe Bunbury Geographe Growth Plan Partnership Steering Committee prioritised the reconciliation action plan. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

South West local governments are joining forces with the region’s traditional land owners on a plan of reconciliation.

The Harvey, Capel, Dardanup shire and Bunbury councils are all set to endorse the Bunbury Geographe Reconciliation Action Plan.

Bunbury councillors will vote on supporting the plan tonight in a bid to “achieve genuine reconciliation in our communities”.

The plan will be tabled following a decision in May 2017 for the Bunbury Geographe Growth Plan Partnership Steering Committee to prioritise the project.

It sets out action plans and deliverables to build “strong and respectful” relationships and create meaningful opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Mayor Gary Brennan said it was an important step in an already strong relationship between the council and the city’s Noongar population.

Bunbury’s Edith Cowan University campus was commissioned for the project.

“We’ve been working closely with ECU, who have developed this plan in consultation with the Noongar representatives and I’m really pleased that we’ve come up with the plan finally and now we can get on and start to implement some of its broader recommendations,” Mr Brennan said.

“It really does formulate a very strong basis for acknowledgement and intent between the city of Bunbury council and our Noongar community.”

He said it had been a lengthy process between the four local governments after extensive consultation between the councils, ECU and the Noongar community.

“There’s always very positive outcomes when you work in collaboration and the fact that it will apply across the Bunbury Geographe is a terrific outcome for everybody — all the local governments involved and the Noongar communities that live in those various towns and the city,” he said.

“The relationship is very, very strong between the Bunbury City Council and our Noongar community.”

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