Boroondara's Reconciliation Strategy
Updated: Jun 16
In the Boroondara Bulletin - July/August 2021, council announced that it was “time for a reconciliation strategy”. The four year reconciliation strategy will strengthen relationships and connections with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples, and formalise Boroondara’s commitment to reconciliation.
Reconciliation Australia explains that “reconciliation is based and measured on five dimensions: historical acceptance; race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity and unity”. They provide framework and materials for organisations in their development of reconciliation action plans (RAP) which the City of Boroondara refers to as a reconciliation strategy. There is a fee for using RAP resources, which is scaled according to organisation size. Reconciliation Australia describes that each phase of an action plan intends to “close the gap” by promoting and supporting the equity, equality, and health of ATSI’s.
Another essential part of an action plan is educating the public on the history of Australia’s Indigenous people and eradicating outdated, racist attitudes. Reconciliation Australia offers the free learning resource, Narrangunnawali, to assist schools and early learning centres in developing RAPs and provide material for their curriculum development. So far 300+ schools and early learning centres in Victoria have developed RAPs, seven of which are in Boroondara.
Boroondara council explained that this is their “second formal response to reconciliation”. To develop the reconciliation strategy they are working closely with key ATSI stakeholders; those who have a personal, professional and community interest in the project. One such stakeholder is local artist Rev Glenn Loughrey of St Oswald’s Anglican Church in Glen Iris, who confirms that the council is working closely with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people (the traditional owners of Boroondara) and other ATSI peoples.
Community consultation to inform the Boroondara Reconciliation Strategy closed on 31 July 2021. Still in its early stages, the basic framework and processes are currently being agreed upon by all stakeholders, before key discussions regarding what will be included in the strategy will take place. Council has not provided any comment on exactly what the strategy will include. The draft Boroondara Reconciliation Strategy will be presented for public comment in November 2021, with the anticipation that it will be ready for adoption in early 2022.
UPDATE: Boroondara's Reconciliation Strategy draft is now available for public comment. Feedback closes at 5pm Tuesday 14 December: https://www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/about-council/council-administration/policies-plans-and-strategies/reconciliation-strategy