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.

Any reconciliation work your local government undertakes needs to take place in an organisation which meets the first dimension - Cultural Safety. Cultural awareness, safety and competence are essential in ensuring that your council can communicate and work effectively with First Peoples staff, stakeholders and community members. Without it, there will be large questions about how successfully you can actually deliver reconciliation work that is truly guided by First Peoples voices. 

Why is this important?

Organisational Cultural Safety is the first step in any reconciliation work undertaken at council. Without this, it will be much harder to effectively work with Traditional Owners to develop policies and protocols to strengthen your engagement with the broader First Peoples community.

There are a number of different ways to begin building your council’s cultural safety capacity. One crucial way is to begin undertaking anti-racism work to move from being an ally to a true change maker. Another is to understand the breathtaking breadth and depth of cultures, histories, experiences and knowledges of First Peoples in Victoria. The first step in doing this is better understanding First Peoples Connections and Structures and the many different organisations that your council can engage with.

Case Studies

Moreland City Council have been working to build their organisational cultural safety. They organise cultural awareness and appreciation sessions in the municipality, as well as appoint and support Aboriginal trainees across the council workforce. The Moreland Reconciliation Working Group also provides advice to council on projects and strategies to ensure a wide range of the community is engaged with council initiatives and reconciliation is furthered through the whole municipality. Moreland Reconciliation Network also operate within the municipality and conduct anti-racism work and training sessions.

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