Council reaffirms commitment to Reconciliation Action Plan
The City of Stirling Council unanimously reaffirmed its strong commitment to the actions and deliverables in the recently adopted Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) July 2021 – June 2023 last night.
In response to a matter raised by some electors at the Electors General Meeting on 17 May, Council debate highlighted the extensive consultation undertaken with the RAP Working Group to date, which has informed a series of ongoing actions to progress the City’s reconciliation journey.
While potential renaming or dual naming has been discussed by the current and previous RAP Working Groups, it was not identified as a priority action during consultation for the newest RAP.
On that basis, it was not considered appropriate to prioritise an Electors General Meeting motion above the many other actions and deliverables already included within this RAP, as reconciliation should not be seen as a single issue or agenda but rather an ongoing journey of actions that evolve, develop and grow over time.
Mayor Mark Irwin said the topic had naturally triggered a wide range of responses from the community.
“Since this matter was first raised, we have welcomed respectful debate around this conversation and as a basis for these discussions it was important that we clarified the status of City’s reconciliation journey,” Mayor Irwin said.
“While changing the name of the City of Stirling is not being progressed, stronger recognition of Aboriginal history and culture is certainly a priority and we are reaffirming our reconciliation efforts in good faith to the commitments we have already made with our Elders and community.
“We adopted our first RAP in 2014, our second in 2018 and most recently, our third in May 2021. Some of the highlights have included embedding acknowledgement of the traditional landowners across the organisation, employing Aboriginal Engagement and Aboriginal Youth Development Officers as permanent staff, and becoming one of the first local governments in WA to enter a formal agreement with an Aboriginal-led community organisation – Wadjak Northside Aboriginal Community Group.”
The Innovate RAP – the City’s third plan – includes 19 actions within four key areas: Relationships, Respect, Opportunities and Governance. Some of the deliverables include:
- Rename City meeting rooms to Nyoongar names in consultation with traditional owners to embed cultural awareness across the organisation
- Display signage that showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures in public spaces of cultural significance
- Direct a minimum of 25% of the City’s annual acquisitions budget to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art within our art collection
- Develop and implement an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander procurement strategy
- Elders to meet with the Mayor and CEO annually for a ‘Boordier to Boordier’ (Boss to Boss) meeting.
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