Kempsey Shire Council has placed a new emphasis on Reconciliation with First Nations people with the creation of their first Reconciliation Action Plan and a call for community ideas.
Councillors voted unanimously at October's Ordinary Meeting of Council to place the draft Reconciliation Action Plan on public exhibition.
The draft plan is based on the Reflect level Reconciliation Action Plan structure designed by Reconciliation Australia. It is the first step in a four plan process and has been developed by staff, in consultation with key local stakeholders, as a key part of the organisation's journey to unite the shire.
Council is now calling on the community to engage with this important process, by providing feedback on the draft Reconciliation Action Plan on public exhibition but also booking a yarn and suggesting practical actions Council and the community can do to further promote reconciliation through this and future Plans.
Kempsey Shire Council general manager, Craig Milburn, said creating a Reconciliation Action Plan was identified as a priority in the Community Strategic Plan and is an important step in celebrating the Shire's proud Thungutti/Dunghutti culture and heritage.
"It is important that we embrace reconciliation and build sustainable and respectful relationships with local Aboriginal people," Mr Milburn said.
"Developing a Reconciliation Action Plan will help to ensure that we evolve practices that are embedded in our workplace operations and culture. We are inviting the community to view the plan and tell us if we are on the right track, as well as their suggestions and ideas for true reconciliation that we can adopt now or in future plans."
The draft plan, which has already been reviewed by Reconciliation Australia, will remain on exhibition until 31 January 2022. At that point Council will refine the plan, taking on board the community's feedback and resubmit it to Reconciliation Australia for a final stage endorsement. Reconciliation Australia outlines four levels of plans being Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate, and each plan is designed to suit an organisation at a different stage of its reconciliation journey.
"I encourage residents to visit Your Say Macleay to view the impressive document which includes the Welcome to Country provided by Dunghutti Elder Uncle Bob Smith and some amazing commissioned artwork by Dunghutti Artist Stephen McLeod showing the story of the Macleay from the mountain to the sea."
The draft Reconciliation Action Plan will be open to feedback until 31 January 2022. To view the document head to ksc.pub/reconciliation
What else is making news?
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: