why is this important?

There are many different divisional plans and strategies that local governments are required to create. For example, the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 requires each council to create a new Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan every four years. Similarly, the Gender Equality Act 2020 requires councils to create Gender Equality Action Plans and Gender Impact Assessments.

It is important that local government considers the views of the local First Peoples community members across all elements of their work and in every plan or strategy that they create. First Peoples’ views are relevant in every area of council’s work, including health, wellbeing, gender, arts, youth, sports and land management.

Recommended Strategies

  • Ensure First Peoples are represented across all council boards and committees, not just reconciliation groups.
  • Commit to including specific actions in every division plan and strategy based on the needs and wants of the local First Peoples community members.
  • Rather than just having a Reconciliation Action Plan or similar in isolation, ensure that relevant actions are included across a breadth of council plans so every section of your work has commitments and buy-in to your reconciliation work.
  • Ensure that First Peoples are guiding your work in all areas through structures like a Voice to Council or a First Peoples Liaison Role.
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Case Studies

Maribyrnong City Council specifically mentions First Peoples’ health in their Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan. Many of these actions are tied to other accountability measures such as Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan, and include specific goals around First Peoples engagement with council and council activities. In addition to having specific action plans around reconciliation, Maribyrnong also ensures that First Peoples are represented across a broad range of council divisional plans and strategies. Rather than being competing, linking strategies through common core goals can improve and strengthen the work of all council areas. 

Key Contacts

Relevant Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, such as VACCHO for health, VAEAI for education and MAYSAR for sport and recreation

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