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Community, Local Government

Willoughby City Council strengthens community relations through Reconciliation Action Plan

Willoughby City Council 2 mins read
Artwork featured in the Reconciliation Action Plan by Dr Emma Hicks

Willoughby City Council’s first Reconciliation Action Plan has been formally endorsed by the peak national reconciliation body, Reconciliation Australia, paving the way for its implementation and further work in future.

The views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and local residents from across the Willoughby local government area were sought during a year-long consultation process with community groups and staff, resulting in a set of recommendations that will strengthen relationships and work towards reconciliation.

The plan serves as a strategic document to guide the Council’s reconciliation initiatives, with a range of proposed actions including:

  • Establishing a Yarning Circle at an appropriate location as a way to build respectful relationships and preserve and pass on cultural knowledge
  • The inclusion of Aboriginal cultural awareness training in the induction process for all Council staff and Councillors, with recruitment processes overhauled to increase the diversity of the applicant pool
  • The inclusion of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags on the Council website, email signatures and other materials including official documents
  • An assessment of opportunities to increase procurement from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses

 

Willoughby City Mayor Tanya Taylor said:

“Reconciliation Australia’s endorsement of our plan is a credit to the hard work of the Council staff who helped put it together, but the real work starts now. The plan represents our deep and ongoing commitment to reconciliation and strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and I look forward to working collaboratively with stakeholders to transform words into action in the coming months. My sincere hope is that effective implementation of the plan will help us shape and deliver a better future for our community and all Australians.”

ENDS 

 

Notes to editors

  1. Further information including the full set of recommendations included within the Reconciliation Action Plan can be found on the Willoughby City Council website: https://www.haveyoursaywilloughby.com.au/draft-reflect-reconciliation-action-plan
  2. Willoughby City Council established an internal RAP working group in September 2022, which laid the foundations for the future development of the plan
  3. In March 2023 the Council undertook community consultation through in-person workshops as well as the online Have Your Say platform. Feedback received was incorporated into the first draft
  4. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community groups consulted during process included the Aboriginal Heritage Office, The Gai-mariagal Group, the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council and local Aboriginal artists
  5. Council adopted a final draft at its meeting on 11 December 2023, ahead of being submitted to Reconciliation Australia for endorsement
  6. The illustrations contained in the plan were created by Sydney-based artist of Gamilaroi and European heritage, Dr Emma Hicks

 


Contact details:

For further information and/or interview requests, please contact:

Steven Jefferies, Willoughby City Council

E: media@willoughby.nsw.gov.au

P: +61 459 915 293

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