Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Ac­tion Plan closes gap

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS -

Cook Island and its cul­tural con­nec­tions to the lo­cal Bund­jalung Aboriginal peo­ple was the back­drop of last week’s launch of Tweed Shire Coun­cil’s first Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Ac­tion Plan 2018–2020 (RAP).

The in­au­gu­ral RAP has been de­vel­oped over the past year be­tween Tweed Shire Coun­cil and the Aboriginal Ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee to Coun­cil (AAC), which cel­e­brates its 20th year of work­ing with Coun­cil this year. As Na­tional Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Week 2018 drew to a close, RAP Cham­pion and Coun­cil’s Di­rec­tor Com­mu­nity and Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Tracey Stinson said the RAP was Coun­cil’s commitment to rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.

“The RAP is our gen­uine commitment to en­cour­age and sup­port all our staff to make a dif­fer­ence through our ac­tions,” Ms Stinson said.

“It’s for our staff and by our staff. All the ideas and in­put of the work­ing group were used to de­velop the doc­u­ment.

“It’s so much more than just words on a page, or rep­re­sen­ta­tional tar­gets. It’s about tan­gi­ble changes that will make a dif­fer­ence and clearly demon­strate our re­spect and pride in our Tweed his­tory, our commitment to protect cul­tural her­itage and to hon­our the sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Is­lan­der com­mu­nity to­day.

“We in­tend to walk the talk and take ac­tion – it’s not meant to be a plan that sits on the shelf. It’s about mea­sur­ing our progress along the way and be­ing trans­par­ent and ac­count­able for that.

AAC and RAP Com­mit­tee mem­ber, Jackie Mc­don­ald said the RAP was a set of agreed prin­ci­ples by which the Aboriginal com­mu­nity and Coun­cil would en­gage with one an­other.

“It’s a plan to­wards our re­la­tion­ship into the fu­ture. It’s im­por­tant be­cause we need to be con­fi­dent that our ad­vice to Coun­cil is truly val­ued and re­spected, so that our re­la­tion­ship is sound with Coun­cil,” Ms Mc­don­ald said.

Here are some com­ments from mem­bers of the the RAP Work­ing Group:

Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer, Waste and RAP Work­ing Group mem­ber, Yvette van Am­s­tel: “The RAP is an op­por­tu­nity for Coun­cil to be open in its di­a­logue to­wards the Tweed’s old­est com­mu­ni­ties, to cre­ate mean­ing­ful, re­spect­ful re­la­tion­ships and to im­prove ser­vices.”

Ganger Parks and RSP work­ing Group mem­ber, Erika Chad­burn: “It’s im­por­tant to have a RAP to help man­age­ment have cul­tural in­clu­sive­ness in the back of their mind when they’re mak­ing im­por­tant de­ci­sions. As an indigenous per­son my­self, it is im­por­tant to feel Coun­cil is work­ing to­wards clos­ing the gap there and recog­nises the cul­tural im­por­tance there in the com­mu­nity and gen­uinely wants to em­brace that.”

To view the RAP, go to www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/atsi and for a video out­lin­ing the RAP and its sig­nif­i­cance, see Coun­cil’s Youtube chan­nel or go to https://youtu.be/ojak­l­lul1iu

Cel­e­brat­ing the launch of the Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Ac­tion Plan (RAP) are (from left) Aboriginal Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee mem­bers Lowena Wil­liams, Un­cle Vic­tor Sloc­kee, Jackie Mc­don­ald, RAP Work­ing Group mem­ber Barry Chad­burn, RAP cham­pion Tracey Stinson and RAP...

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