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.

A crucial element of any reconciliation work in local government is that council is accountable to the voices of First Peoples and to put structures in place that ensure the fourth dimension - Ensuring Accountability - is met. Accountability is crucial in reconciliation work because it helps ensure that your work is guided by the voices of First Peoples and that commitments that are made are followed through. Consistently achieving your commitments and goals builds trust, engagement and can help extend your work further.

Recommended Strategies

The simplest way to embed First Peoples’ voices in your council is by establishing a Voice to Council. From here, the Voice can assist council in creating Engagement Plans and Strategies, building Engagement and Partnerships with local community and provide input into Division Plans and Strategies across your organisational chart. You can also hire a First Peoples Liaison Role, who can assist in the creation of these plans and the operations of your Voice. Building these relationships and structures, while also ensuring they are in-line with relevant State Government Frameworks, will mean that your reconciliation work can be deep, meaningful and long-lasting. 

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Case Studies

The City of Ballarat has established a wide range of accountability measures designed to keep their reconciliation work on track. They hire identified First Peoples Liaison roles, have a Voice to Council through the Koorie Engagement Action Group and have an engagement plan through their Reconciliation Action Plan. The success of these actions can be seen in the City of Ballarat now hosting their annual Survival Day Dawn Ceremony and being finalists in the HART Awards in both 2020 and 2021. 

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