The apology is acknowledged as a significant and historic gesture of reconciliation and an important step towards addressing inequality and building relationships between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians.
The City of Greater Geelong has been formally committed to the process of reconciliation and partnership with the local Aboriginal community since 1997 and through this Statement of Recognition and Commitment builds on this legacy.
Council will continue to uphold the commitments made to Aboriginal people by both the Australian Federal Government and Victorian State Governments through the following Statement of Recognition & Commitment.
Recognition & Respect
We, the people of Geelong, of many origins as we are, speak with one voice in acknowledging and pay respect to the Indigenous Australians who are the first people of this land and acknowledge the people of the Wathaurong, Wathaurung and Wada wurrung country people – part of the Kulin Nation, as the original custodians of the lands and waters within the traditional boundaries. The boundary area reflects the map attached based on the Wada wurrung Language Area & Clans.
- We acknowledge and respect that Aboriginal values, traditions, customs and laws and relationship to the land exist and Aboriginal people have a right to live according to those customs and values, subject to Australian law.
- We acknowledge that European colonisation brought about immense changes to the land and Indigenous people resulting in loss of land, culture, family, health and sovereignty.
- We acknowledge that for over two hundred years Indigenous people have survived European colonisation.
- We will continue to publicly acknowledge and support significant cultural dates, commemorative events and sites of cultural significance.
- We will continue to acknowledge Indigenous people as the first nation and Wathaurong people as custodians of the land and waters at civic functions.
- We support the rights of all Indigenous people as outlined in the Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
- We acknowledge that Aboriginal people bestow the Geelong community with significant cultural, social, economic and spiritual contributions that are crucial to the character and nature of the Municipality.
In partnership with local Aboriginal people, organisations, reconciliation groups and other organisations and service providers, the City of Greater Geelong will support the process for Reconciliation with Indigenous Australians.
We will develop a Council Reconciliation and Aboriginal Partnership Plan, with the support of Aboriginal organisations and people that will:
- Through the Cultural Heritage Management Planning processes, recognise and protect sites that are culturally significant as required by Aboriginal Heritage Bill 2006 Aboriginal sacred sites; sensitive to and with respect to the dignity and protocols of the local indigenous community.
- Advocate for and support initiatives that reduce inequality and improve economic, social and cultural outcomes for Aboriginal people.
- Support actions that strengthen connections between Indigenous and non Indigenous people.
- Advocate for and support initiatives that increase access to Council services.
- Promote education of Aboriginal history and culture within council and across the community.
- Uphold and promote the principles and commitments articulated in this statement.
This Statement of Recognition and Commitment aims to build on the work already undertaken by the City of Greater Geelong to advance the rights, recognition and commitment to Indigenous Australians and to carve a pathway for Council to discover, develop and deliver actions that promote reconciliation.
We look forward to a future of mutual respect and harmony.
Mayor of Geelong
This Statement of Recognition & Commitment is the fourth review and update of the statement and commitment to reconciliation endorsed by the City of Greater Geelong since 1997.
Wada Wurrung Language Area and Clans