East Arnhem Shire Council launches Reconciliation Action Plan

East Arnhem Shire Council has become the first stand alone organisation in the Northern Territory to declare its commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Australians, by releasing the inaugural 2011 – 2012 East Arnhem Shire Council Reconciliation Action Plan.

Held at the Mirambeena Travelodge on Tuesday 11 October 2011, on the eve of East Arnhem Shire Council’s Annual Conference, the plan was jointly launched by Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) State Manager, Dave Chalmers, and East Arnhem Shire Council President, Banambi Wunungmurra.

The 2011 – 2012 East Arnhem Shire Council Reconciliation Action Plan was developed in collaboration with Community Advisory Boards, Shire employees and community representatives in each of the nine East Arnhem Shire Council communities.

The document focuses on developing strong multi-dimensional relationships with community members and Indigenous Australians; and in the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation the document will also allow for independent and public verification.

Community members will be enabled to make informed decisions; to move from social exclusion, to inclusion in the development of their communities and their future.

Highlights of the 2011-2012 East Arnhem Shire Council Reconciliation Action Plan include:

Community Identity: Development of an East Arnhem Shire Council Cultural Safety Policy
Leadership: Implementation of Shire Mentoring Program
Youth:  Establishment of Youth Advisory Councils

East Arnhem Shire Council President Banambi Wunungmurra said “The Shire will use this document as a key to open doors in true Reconciliation, to enable us as elected members for our region to lead our people in local governance and self-determination into the future.”

“Reconciliation Action Plan is the first step in a bigger picture, of a better future, based on mutual respect and opportunities on the foundation of strong relationships. It is not about closing the gap. It’s about opening the doors.”

“East Arnhem Shire Councils is dedicated to promoting the power of people, protection of community and respect for cultural diversity.”

“By launching this Reconciliation Action Plan, East Arnhem Shire Council is the only stand alone organisation in the Northern Territory paving the way towards reconciliation.”

A series of community based mini-launches have also been held throughout the nine communities of the East Arnhem Shire Council.

To view a full version of the 2011-2012 East Arnhem Shire Council Reconciliation Action Plan visit http://www.eastarnhem.net.au

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Media Contact – Aroha Jennings 0457 518 772

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