Click the play button above to hear the full interview
It may have taken a solid 18 months of work involving council staff, councillors, Traditional Owners and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but the effort, it seems, is set to pay major dividends.
On Monday the 14th of September, Banyule City Council passed and endorsed that council’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
For Nicole Findlay, Reconciliation Development Projects Officer, the project has been the focus of her work for the entire year-and-a-half. “Our Innovate RAP takes us on the inward journey…then outward,” she told CMR.
“It takes us on a journey of respect, relationships and opportunities.”
Building a new Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation
Inherent within the Banyule RAP is support for the activation of a local Aboriginal Gathering Place and its subsequent formalisation as an independent Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO).
This is close to the heart of the Council’s Aboriginal and Community Social Planner, Les Chessells.
Les worked previously for seven years as the manager of the Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place in Melbourne’s Easter Suburbs, and his goal is to replicate – and improve on – that organisation’s success within community.
“This [activation] is one of our deliverables, in our RAP,” Les said. “So this means that we’re accountable for that and we’re working towards the goal of making this happen.”
During this interview, Nicole and Les discuss:
- The activation of a local (Heidelberg West) Aboriginal Gathering Place
- Increasing employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders within Banyule City Council
- Council’s accountability to the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community
Click the play button below to hear the full interview