why is this important?

Self-determination is fundamental to achieving genuine reconciliation which will enable a positive future for councils and their constituents. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices must be present across all decision-making in Council. This can be done through meaningful engagement with First Peoples organisations and individuals.

The strength and diversity of First Peoples organisations across the state are a reflection of the communities they are a part of. They provide culturally safe and self-determined access to services and resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. They are often focal points for the local community and the broader service sector, and are well placed to work with councils. It is important that councils engage with the breadth of First Peoples organisations in their municipality, as they each reflect specific interests, needs, and expertise.

Recommended Strategies

  • Develop Engagement Plans and Strategies in partnership with First Peoples organisations and individuals in the council area.
  • Invite First Peoples organisations to participate in council forums and other committees and in consultation about the development of council’s plans, policies and strategies.
  • Develop employment strategies to ensure First Peoples are represented at all levels of Council.
  • Develop partnerships with local ACCOs to support the delivery of services.
  • Establish a formal structure for First Peoples’ Voice to Council.
  • Attend and actively participate in First Peoples community meetings and functions where invited and appropriate.
  • Support and promote First Peoples community access to council facilities and programs.
  • Develop relationships and partnerships with Traditional Owners and Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs).

Case Studies

The City of Port Phillip demonstrates a meaningful commitment to partnership and engagement with First Peoples through the delivery of We-akon Dilinja, a mourning reflection event, in partnership with the Boon Wurrung Land and Sea Council. The ceremony recognises the journey and experience of the Yaluk-Ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung People and language group.

This open and honest collaboration between the Boon Wurrung Land and Sea Council and the City of Port Phillip has developed a culturally safe space that recognises the true shared history and reflects the diversity of views in the municipality.

Key Contacts

Local Aboriginal Networks (LANs) | First Peoples - State Relations

Koorie Youth Council

Registered Aboriginal Parties | Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council

Develop partnerships with local Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations (ACCOs) to support the delivery of services | AbSec

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