Reconciliation Victoria defines meaningful reconciliation through five key interrelated dimensions which can be viewed here. These five dimensions were based on Reconciliation Australia’s State of Reconciliation in Australia Report but have been edited by Reconciliation Victoria to better reflect the unique context, histories and cultures of our state.

Governments across Australia had a part in the dispossession of First Peoples and the loss of their histories, languages and cultures. Due to this, local councils have a role to play in the fifth dimension - Addressing Historical Injustice - by protecting and promoting the cultures and heritage of First Peoples.

why is this important?

Local government plays an important role in protecting, promoting and celebrating local histories. A crucial part of this work, particularly for First Peoples, is the protection and respect for cultural heritage. This also extends to Aboriginal Languages, many of which were threatened by damaging colonial laws and policies but are now undergoing a revival. One of the most fundamental and public ways to show respect for traditional Language is to, with adequate permissions, name spaces and places across the municipality in the Language of the Traditional Owners. 

This is not to say that addressing this historical injustice is solely about the tragedies that colonialism has caused for First Peoples in Victoria. It is also important to recognise that there are many significant Champions of Change in the First Peoples community who have played a role in the development of local areas and contributions to the broader culture. The work of educating your community about these contributions by First Peoples is particularly important in schools and early learning centres across the municipality. 

nmonee

Case Studies

Moonee Valley City Council has adopted a range of strategies and projects to begin addressing historical injustices. They have created the Babepal Paen-mirring Ceremonial Rock Circle which is named in the local Woi wurrung language and protects artefacts scattered at the site, promoting languages and protecting cultural heritage. Moonee Valley City Council was a finalist for the HART Awards 2020 for their work with local early learning centres, in running workshops with Elders so children could create their own Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners. They also provide a platform for local Champions of Change to share their stories, such as at council’s Bunjils Marroun Healing Ceremony held on January 26. 

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