Renewed Reconciliation Action Plan to help nurture culture, heritage and diversity
  • Thursday 23 March 2017
ImageSunshine Coast Council has continued to show its continued commitment to reconciliation by endorsing a renewed Reconciliation Action Plan.

It includes the establishment of a First Peoples Advisory Committee which will assist council in the oversight and implementation of this new RAP for the Sunshine Coast, while more traditional and contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural activities will be incorporated into council’s major creative events program.

Six years ago, Sunshine Coast Council was the first local government in Queensland to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan in partnership with Reconciliation Australia.

The renewed Reconciliation Action Plan 2017-2019 will build on the successes of the region’s first RAP journey by continuing to strengthen a commitment towards reconciliation.

The RAP outlines the actions council and its partners will take to build strong relationships and enhanced respect between the region’s Kabi Kabi and Jinibara First Nation peoples, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from other First Nation groups.

It highlights the important role that our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities play in the social, economic and cultural growth of our Sunshine Coast communities.

Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council’s renewed RAP introduced a number of initiatives that aim to support greater collaboration and the fostering of meaningful partnerships to aid in “closing the gap”.

“I am pleased to see key actions to more effectively engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in active and healthy lifestyles, greater opportunities for cultural tourism to bolster the regional economy, as well as enhanced employment and supplier diversity programs within council,” Cr McKay said.

“Of particular importance, is the provision of a cultural awareness training program for our staff, to ensure that we have a culturally competent workplace and workforce that will deliver better outcomes for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Cr McKay said council’s renewed RAP would seek to extend engagement with the wider community by facilitating and supporting significant events, including a program during National Reconciliation Week to recognise the achievements of Reconciliation champions within our local communities.

“This renewed RAP provides a plan of action built on relationships, respect and opportunities to enable social change and economic opportunities for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Cr McKay said.

“I encourage all staff and members of our local communities to get involved and support reconciliation for all Australians.

“This milestone is another solid step forward on our reconciliation journey and I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Reconciliation Australia in their collaboration to develop this renewed RAP that will guide our organisation over the next two years.”

Visit council’s website for more details.

Image caption: Photo courtesy of HORIZON festival of arts and culture 2016.