The City of Cockburn has adopted its third Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), progressing its commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to help them achieve equality in all aspects of life.
The City of Cockburn was the first Perth metropolitan Local Government to have a Reconciliation Action Plan endorsed by Reconciliation Australia in 2011.
It is one of just three of WA’s 138 local governments embarking on the third phase of developing a RAP, which aims to implement longer-term strategies that achieve equality by using measurable goals and targets.
Some of the actions in the 2018-2021 RAP include establishing an Aboriginal Cultural and Community Centre, developing a policy to increase Aboriginal employment at the City, Aboriginal cultural learning activities for City staff and elected members, and consideration of dual signage and naming of locations with an Aboriginal name.
The plan will also enable the City to notify the Australian Government of the findings of the Council-endorsed consultation with the Cockburn Aboriginal Reference Group and the wider Aboriginal community about Australia Day activities.
The City will advise the Australian Government that the consultation findings represent the opinion of the Cockburn Aboriginal community, and not the City itself.
It will further advise it does not hold a position on or will debate changing the date of Australia Day until broader consultation with the local non-Aboriginal community on the issue has taken place.
The question of whether the date of the City of Cockburn’s Coogee Beach Fest Event should change to a day other than 26 January, will be referred to the City’s Community Events Committee for consideration and recommendation to a future Council meeting in the context of developing the City’s annual Events Calendar.
Mayor Logan Howlett welcomed the new RAP, saying it was a positive step in the City’s continuing journey of reconciliation.
He congratulated the Aboriginal Reference Group on the extent of its engagement within the Aboriginal community and the considerations and support they brought to the many activities conducted throughout the year.
“The ‘Welcome to Country’ provided by Nyungar Elders at the City’s Citizenship Ceremonies remain a highlight for those choosing to become Australian Citizens,” Mayor Howlett said.
“It provides an introduction to Nyungar culture and heritage for those who have come from the four corners of the world to make Australia, and particularly Cockburn, their home.”