Draft Reconciliation Action Plan 2020-23

Our city values and celebrates Aboriginal people’s unique heritage and culture. The draft Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) enshrines and reaffirms that respect and also commits us to actions for advancing reconciliation.

We are proud to make a commitment to fully support reconciliation within our organisation and to influence reconciliation across the city and through our connections nationally and internationally. In the spirit of reconciliation, our actions will not follow a separate stream – instead reconciliation will be embedded in our core business and decision-making at every level. This builds on actions in recent years to promote Aboriginal heritage and culture in the city’s life. Acknowledgement of culture is demonstrated when we program events and nurture relationships that deepen the city’s cultural understanding of unique Aboriginal history.

This is our fifth draft Reconciliation Action Plan and comes two years after the completion of our fourth RAP 2015-18. It follows a process of deep self-reflection for the City of Melbourne as we aspire to realise our vision to support the voice and ambition of Aboriginal communities through leading behaviours and role modelling best practice. A key priority will be exploring the best avenues for recruiting and retaining Aboriginal staff members. The creation of a separate Aboriginal Melbourne branch in 2019 has set the tone for our commitment to a more empowering and culturally-connected organisation.

In this RAP, we speak of respect, relationships, good governance and opportunities. These are powerful words that will be matched with actions as we implement reconciliation initiatives. Significantly, we have added another core pillar to our RAP - we commit to a truth-telling process, to be honest about our past and how the past shapes today and to be collaborative and positive about our future. Truth-telling enables healing. Truth-telling has been, for many communities in the world, a foundational experience, a sharing of stories that underpins respect, relationships and opportunities.

An honest appraisal of our organisation will shape this RAP. We believe reconciliation means working to ensure Melbourne is an inclusive city for Aboriginal people, and working to close the gap of disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal people since European settlement.

It is about honouring the unbroken relationship of the Aboriginal community to Melbourne, past and present, and supporting this relationship into the future. Consultation, collaboration, and partnerships with all in our community will help us achieve this vision – strengthening a local government culture that promotes and supports all Australians coming together to make a positive difference in all our lives.

Action areas

The draft Reconciliation Action Plan 2020-23 focuses on four key areas.

Truth Telling

Exploring and delivering opportunities for ‘Truth Telling’, to facilitate learning, healing, and change throughout community.

Relationships

Ensure people participate and feel connected, we want to replicate this with our relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Respect

Demonstrate respect for the culture, land and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Opportunities

Greater participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to create a sustainable and resilient municipality.