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ACHIEVE INDIGENOUS RECONCILIATION
 
 

ACHIEVEMENT: To discuss with our indigenous and non-indigenous communities what can be agreed upon to achieve reconciliation and to do it.

TARGET DATE: Dates will be set down for a series of four town meetings during 2003 to discuss how to advance reconciliation among our communities. Dates will be advised when they become available. PROGRESS: Achieved.

The history and progress towards achieving Indigenous Reconciliation, as of January 2003, is contained in the attached document titled City of Melbourne Aboriginal Reconciliation Initiatives and Achievements.

Greens Cr. David Risstrom successfully moved the following motion at the 6 August 2002 Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee meeting:

That the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee:
• Notes the City’s existing programs and relationships for and with Melbourne’s indigenous communities, outlined in Attachment 1;
• Approve appropriate and respectful consultation with Indigenous spokespersons and organisations in relation to the development of an Indigenous Employment Strategy;
• Reaffirm the Statement of Commitment to Indigenous Australians by the City of Melbourne;
• Provide a report to the 3 December 2002 meeting of the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee on the feasibility of the establishment of an Indigenous Unit within the City of Melbourne, which would report to the Director of City Assets Services and to the Chair of the Aboriginal Consultative Group;
• Commence a 12 month discussion between the City of Melbourne, its constituents, ATSIC and the wider indigenous community on how to advance reconciliation in the City of Melbourne. As a means of achieving broad community involvement, the City of Melbourne commits to initiate discussions on options for:
1. A Negotiating a land use agreement
2. Identifying and acknowledging our pre-European history in the City of Melbourne.
3. Providing current and future staff and councillors with the opportunity to participate in cross-cultural awareness training.
4. Increasing the involvement of indigenous people in the delivery of services for and on behalf of the City of Melbourne.
5. Flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags during important times such as NAIDOC week.
6. A strategy to advance representation by Indigenous councillors.

• These discussions will be co-ordinated through the Aboriginal Consultative Group.
• Establish a 6 month cycle for reporting on the progress of the discussions in 30.5 above from the Aboriginal Consultative Group (ACG) to the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee; and,
• Note that this decision is being made under delegation from the Council and is subject to the referral notice process.

This motion was passed unanimously and subsequently unanimously supported by Council. Implementation of this decision is detailed below.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

15 DECEMBER 2003: Reconciliation Victoria and the City of Melbourne will co-host the second in a series of three major forums in 4 March 2004 on Local Government and Reconciliation at the North Melbourne Town Hall.

This forum will be open to staff and councillors at all 79 Victorian local councils. Local government is the closest tier of government to the community, and as such, has a responsibility to engage and serve the needs of all within its community.

In 1992, the Australian Local Government Association signed the National Commitment to Improved Outcomes for Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islanders, along with the Federal and State Governments. The document commits all levels of governments to improving services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation recognised this as a breakthrough document recognising the national significance of reconciliation and the power of local government in the community.

Much work has been done by local governments in Victoria in working towards reconciliation as evidenced by the release of the 2002 Toomnangi Report, but much remains to be done.
Every local government in Victoria will be invited to participate in this one day forum, which will highlight best practice models of local government policies and reconciliation activities. Invitations will be mailed in late January.
The forum seeks to build on the work done to date by the Municipal Association of Victoria's Indigenous Interagency Co-ordination Committee for Local Government through the Toomnangi Report. ( Kb pdf download)

There will be a number of keynote speakers, with well known Indigenous playwright, actor, musician and director Richard Frankland acting as Master of Ceremonies for the day. For further information please contact Reconciliation Victoria on 9662 1645 or the City of Melbourne on 9658 9904

___________________________________________________________________________________________

A Best Value review of Council activities administered by the Cultural Development Division of Council is also contained in the attached document: Key Service Output - Reconciliation.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Melbourne City Council made a historic decision last night to give effect to its August resolution for Indigenous Reconciliation. Concrete action to implementing the unanimously supported resolution of the 6 August 2002 Melbourne City Council Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee. A summary of the report and its recommendation is shown below. The full report is available for download [296k PDF file] by clicking here: Report on the Progress of Reconciliation and Indigenous Interests at the City of Melbourne.

DESCRIPTION: The aim of this goal is to establish a 12 month discussion on what our communities want to do to achieve genuine reconciliation with the City of Melbourne's indigenous community. This page will provide updates as progress is made.

Melbourne City Council gave effect to its August resolution for Indigenous Reconciliation by endorsing concrete action to implement the resolution of the 6 August 2002 Melbourne City Council Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee. A summary of the report and its recommendation is shown below. The full report is available for download [296k PDF file] by clicking here: Report on the Progress of Reconciliation and Indigenous Interests at the City of Melbourne.

4 March 2003: ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNITY AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

PROGRESS OF RECONCILIATION AND INDIGENOUS INTERESTS AT THE CITY OF MELBOURNE

Presenter Sue Morrell, Group Manager Community Services

Purpose
To report on the progress of the resolution of the 6 August 2002 Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee meeting:
“That the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee:
• note the city’s existing programs and relationships for and with Melbourne’s Indigenous communities;
• approve appropriate and respectful consultation with Indigenous spokespersons and organisations in relation to the development of an Indigenous Employment Strategy;
• reaffirm the Statement of Commitment to Indigenous Australians by the City of Melbourne;
• provide a report to the 3 December 2002 meeting of the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee on the feasibility of the establishment of an Indigenous Unit within the City of Melbourne, which would report to the Director City Assets & Services and to the Chair of the Aboriginal Consultative Group;
• commence a 12-month discussion between the City of Melbourne, its constituents, ATSIC and the wider Indigenous community on how to advance reconciliation in the City of Melbourne. As a means of achieving broad community involvement, the City of Melbourne commits to initiate discussions on options for:
- negotiating a land use agreement;
- identifying and acknowledging our pre-European history in the City of Melbourne;
- providing current and future staff and Councillors with the opportunity to participate in cross-cultural awareness training;
- increasing the involvement of Indigenous people in the delivery of services for and on behalf of the City of Melbourne;
- flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags during important times such as NAIDOC week;
- a strategy to advance representation by Indigenous Councillors;
- the Reconciliation discussion outlined above will be co-ordinated through the Aboriginal Consultative Group; and
• establish a 6 month cycle for reporting on the progress of the discussions referred to in 30.5 above (NOTE: of the original Report to the 6 August 2002 Environment, Community and
Cultural Development Committee meeting) from the Aboriginal Consultative Group (ACG) to the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee; and
• note that this decision is being made under delegation from the Council and is subject to the referral notice process.

At the 6 August 2002 meeting the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee requested that a progress report be presented at the December 2002 Committee meeting. The complexity of the issues led to this report being deferred from December 2002 to February 2003. Despite concerted efforts the report was not ready for the February meeting and a commitment was made to include the report on the March Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee agenda.

•To progress the resolution of the 6 August 2002 Environment, Community and Cultural Development
Committee meeting, a consultant, Phil Egan, was engaged to widely consult with stakeholders and present the findings and recommendations on the development of new Indigenous mechanisms at the City of Melbourne including an Indigenous Employment Strategy, establishing an Indigenous Unit and advancing reconciliation in the City of Melbourne.

This report also considers options for advancing the implementation of new Indigenous interests at the City of Melbourne through a Calendar of Events aimed at reconciliation and an Action Plan aimed at the development of an employment strategy and other activities to resource Indigenous interests.

Time Frame
The following outlines key timelines for the 2003/2004 financial year for the partial implementation of recommendations regarding new indigenous mechanisms.

Action and Due Date
Appoint position to establish Indigenous Employment Strategy August 2003
Appoint officer and provide resources for Reconciliation Program August 2003
Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation Program July 2003
Cultural Awareness training November 2003
Committee Report on Cultural protection/land management protocols May 2004

Finance
The implementation of the recommendations in this report will have funding implications as outlined and certain recommendations will need to be considered during the 2003/2004 budget process.

Legal
Legal advice will be provided as necessary in regards to the matters in the Calendar of Events and the proposed partnership with Reconciliation Victoria Inc.

Sustainability
Addressing Indigenous issues and developing new effective initiatives for progressing Indigenous equity and interests at the City of Melbourne is perceived by the community as critical to the City’s provision of long-term social and environmental sustainability.

Connected and Accessible City
The development of the partnership with Reconciliation Victoria is in accordance with the strategic direction of building of relationships at the local level that consolidate Melbourne's capital city role and promote social equity.

Innovative and Vital Business City
The proposed actions will support Melbourne's reputation as a smart, creative and progressive city.

Inclusive and Engaging City
The proposed actions directly and significantly contribute to creating “ an environment that empowers and fosters community involvement and builds social and community networks". Understanding, welcoming and embracing all sectors of the community is important to enable all to participate fully in City life.”

Environmentally Responsible City
There is little or no impact anticipated on environmental objectives, however all activities undertaken will consider minimising negative environmental impacts.

Recommendation
That the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee:
· approve, in principle, the proposed Calendar of Events containing initiatives aimed at supporting Council’s commitment to reconciliation, including the proposed partnership with Reconciliation Victoria Inc. (which will be the subject of a further report to Committee), and updating and reaffirming the Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation;
· undertake the actions in the proposed Calendar of Events, already approved for funding in the 2002/03 budget, and refer the remaining proposed Calendar of Events estimated at $176,000 to the 2003/04 budget process for consideration;
· approve in principle the proposed Indigenous program as outlined as Option 2 in this report and the related Action Plan, estimated at $188,000, and refer to the 2003/04 budget process for consideration;
· note the consultant’s report contained in Attachment 2; and
· note that this decision is being made by the Committee under delegation from the Council and is subject to the referral notice process.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Cr. Risstrom developed the following motion, which was adopted unanimously at the 6 August 2002 Melbourne City Council Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee:

DAVID'S RESOLUTION:

30. That the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee:

30.1 Notes the City’s existing programs and relationships for and with Melbourne’s indigenous communities, outlined in Attachment 1;

30.2 Approve appropriate and respectful consultation with Indigenous spokespersons and organisations in relation to the development of an Indigenous Employment Strategy;

30.3 Reaffirm the Statement of Commitment to Indigenous Australians by the City of Melbourne;

30.4 Provide a report to the 3 December 2002 meeting of the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee on the feasibility of the establishment of an Indigenous Unit within the City of Melbourne, which would report to the Director of City Assets Services and to the Chair of the Aboriginal Consultative Group;

30.5 Commence a 12 month discussion between the City of Melbourne, its constituents, ATSIC and the wider indigenous community on how to advance reconciliation in the City of Melbourne. As a means of achieving broad community involvement, the City of Melbourne commits to initiate discussions on options for:
1· A Negotiating a land use agreement
2. Identifying and acknowledging our pre-European history in the City of Melbourne.
3. Providing current and future staff and councillors with the opportunity to participate in cross-cultural awareness training.
4. Increasing the involvement of indigenous people in the delivery of services for and on behalf of the City of Melbourne.
5. Flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags during important times such as NAIDOC week.
6. A strategy to advance representation by Indigenous councillors.

These discussions will be co-ordinated through the Aboriginal Consultative Group.

30.6 Establish a 6 month cycle for reporting on the progress of the discussions in 30.5 above from the Aboriginal Consultative Group (ACG) to the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee; and,

30.7 Note that this decision is being made under delegation from the Council and is subject to the referral notice process.

Moved: Cr. David Risstrom

BACKGROUND PROVIDED BY DAVID RISSTROM WITH THE NOTICE OF MOTION

Australian Local Government’s, including the City of Melbourne, have established their commitment to Aboriginal Reconciliation over a significant period and on many occasions.

In 1996, the 50th anniversary of the Australian Local Government Association, the General Assembly of Local Government resolved the following Statement of Commitment:

This National General Assembly of Local Government:
· Reaffirms its commitment to the right of all Australians to enjoy equal rights and be treated with equal respect, regardless of race, colour, creed or origin.
· Reaffirms its commitment to maintaining an immigration policy wholly non-discriminatory on grounds of race, colour, creed or origin.
· Reaffirms its commitment to the process of reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in the context of redressing their profound social and economic disadvantage
· Reaffirms its commitment to maintaining Australia as a culturally diverse, tolerant and open society, united by an overriding commitment to our nation, and its democratic institutions and values.
· Denounces racial intolerance in any form as incompatible with the kind of society we are and want to be.

Further, this National General Assembly calls upon Councils throughout Australia to give practical effect to the above commitment by:
· Actively promoting the benefits of a cohesive, multicultural society
· Supporting the Council of Aboriginal Reconciliation’s vision for a united Australia and local declarations of Reconciliation with our Indigenous peoples
· Promoting access and equity in service provisions for all members of their communities
· Addressing wherever possible the special needs of disadvantaged groups.

Reconciliation involves building a new relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and the wider community, with an aim to healing the pain of the past and ensuring we all share fairly and equally in our national citizenship.

The Commonwealth Parliament has recognised the need for Reconciliation by declaring that:
· Australia was occupied by Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders for thousands of years before British colonisation at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788.
· Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders suffered dispossession and dispersal from their traditional lands by the British Crown
· There has been no formal reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.

The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation identified five steps to Reconciliation:
· Understanding and accepting the history of our shared experience between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider community.
· Respecting Indigenous cultures and identity.
· Recognising that past injustice continues to give rise to present injustices for indigenous Australians
· Identifying what more needs to be done and making changes within Australian society.
· Revaluing our citizenship to live together in unity and harmony.

The City of Melbourne is a strong supporter of indigenous activities, particularly in the arts and culture, as the list of activities attached to this report shows. Nevertheless, despite efforts to date, it is clear that indigenous people remain as among some of the most disadvantaged people in our community. Indigenous life expectancy is low, social dislocation is evident and a wealth of knowledge, tradition and human potential is being jeopardised. With a culture and tradition as long living, and as rich and diverse as our indigenous community, I believe there is an obvious benefit to working together to see how we as a community can move forward.

The purpose of this resolution is to give practical effect to Reconciliation with our indigenous community by confirming the existing indigenous programs in the City of Melbourne, give practical support to broadening our involvement with indigenous communities and commencing discussion with our community on how best to advance Aboriginal Reconciliation.

This information was sourced by David Risstrom from:
· ‘Milward, K. Wurreker – Local Government – Indigenous Partnerships Resource Guides, Melbourne: Municipal Association of Victoria; and,
· Wensing, E. 2002, Working with Native Title: Linking native title and Council process, Deakin: Australian Local Government Association; and,
· The Australian Local Government Association website on 5/8/2002 at; www.alga.com.au/site/page.cfm?site_page_id=126&site_nav_id=95

THE MANAGEMENT REPORT TO THE COUNCIL: INDIGENOUS PROGRAMS IN THE CITY OF MELBOURNE

This report was presented to the committee by Denise Shearer, Co-ordinator Social Planning and Projects.

Purpose

1. To advise Committee on the City’s existing programs and to seek approval to commence consultation on the development of an Employment Strategy, a leadership initiative for and with Melbourne’s Indigenous communities.

Background

2. The City of Melbourne has adopted a proactive stance in the support of Reconciliation, Indigenous culture and Indigenous community issues for several years. Attachment 1 is the Council’s Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation. Attachment 2 outlines the many projects, activities, services, grants and other areas of support that the City currently provides. The report also outlines existing advisory and consultative mechanisms that inform and support these programs.

3. Council established the Aboriginal Consultative Group (ACG) in 1997 as a key element of the Council’s consultative approach. Its purpose is to provide professional and strategic advice on issues affecting Indigenous Australians, and guidance in relation to the implementation of strategies to achieve the objectives of the Statement of Commitment.

4. Originally the ACG was comprised of a number of Indigenous community representatives and 3 Councillors. It has been restructured twice, in response to issues raised by the Indigenous community and the ACG itself about its ongoing effectiveness. Cr. Risstrom chairs the ACG.

5. A number of the ACG’s original functions have been assumed by two more recently established and highly focussed Council advisory structures, namely the Indigenous Arts Advisory Panel (IAAP) which provides advice on cultural activities and by the Indigenous Advisory Forum (IAF) which provides advice on social support issues.

6. Toomangi; Indigenous Communities and Local Government - a Victorian Study has recently been published with support from the Municipal Association of Victoria, ATSIC, Aboriginal Affairs Victoria and the Department of Infrastructure. Among examples of local government best practice, the City of Melbourne is recognised for its acknowledgement at meetings and events recognising traditional owners. The Study also identifies ways in which Local Governments can show leadership about reconciliation.

7. The newly formed Indigenous Cultural Alliance submitted a detailed paper during the consultation period for the 2002/3 budget. The signatories and members of the Alliance constitute a high profile cross section of the Indigenous cultural community in Victoria and Melbourne. The paper recommends a number of actions including increased funding for Indigenous cultural life and activity, the creation of an Indigenous Unit within Council, and a review of the activities of the ACG.

8. This paper reflects some options and ideas abut the future of the City of Melbourne’s relations with Indigenous communities and presents some options that need to be the subject of extensive and focused consultation with Indigenous representatives, elders and relevant Indigenous organisations.

Issues

9. The City of Melbourne has initiated a number of projects that support and promote contemporary Indigenous culture. Council through a dedicated grants budget, supports Indigenous artists and cultural groups to perform, exhibit and develop their unique culture for the widest possible audience as outlined in Attachment 2.

10. The City has also supported a number of significant cultural events including Sorry Day, the inclusion of significant Indigenous presence in activities such as Australia Day, the naming and dedication of Birrarung Marr, Moomba. Most recently the City supported Mabo Day, the 10th anniversary of the recognition of the land rights of Indigenous people in the Torres Strait.

11. The City of Melbourne, through staff and Councillors has a wide network of informal linkages with the Indigenous community. The benefits of these programs and linkages position the City to adopt a leadership role within the State and nationally.

Indigenous Advisory Forum (IAF)

12. The Indigenous Advisory Forum provides advice to Council on issues related to the social well-being, empowerment and quality of life for Aboriginal residents and visitors to the City of Melbourne.

13. It has oversighted a study of the Aboriginal people who congregate around the St Paul’s Cathedral area and within the City of Melbourne that have a myriad of complex disadvantages including homelessness, poverty, poor education and employment prospects, mental health and health issues. Council currently funds Ngwala Willumbong to provide a case management response on an as required basis.

14. The study consulted with Indigenous people, churches, services and traders, and concluded that the needs and issues are beyond the capacity of the current service response. Further, that there are specific issues affecting the Indigenous community which relate to accessing services. The report recommends the development of an outreach and a flexible brokerage model that would provide case management and linkages between service providers and the client group to address their needs as they relate to alcohol and drug issues, housing, welfare and health needs. A service specification is currently being prepared.

15. In addition the report emphasised the need for a positive and structural approach to improving outcomes, and the opportunity for the City of Melbourne to provide a leadership role. The study recommended the City of Melbourne undertake the following:
15.1 extend the involvement of Indigenous people in decision making;
15.2 establish local sporting and recreational activities which would involve young Indigenous people and their families;
15.3 provide cross cultural training for better relations between Aboriginal people and the wider community based on mutual respect, mutual interest and association; and
15.4 the develop an employment strategy which specifically targets Indigenous people.

Aboriginal Consultative Group (ACG)

16. Even though the ACG has itself considered issues about its effectiveness, it has expressed the view that Council should:
16.1 develop an Indigenous employment strategy, including the development of an Indigenous unit;
16.2 identify opportunities for partnerships with key agencies around Indigenous tourism and the like; and
16.3 consider and consult with the community about Indigenous Land Use Agreements.

Indigenous Arts Advisory Panel (IAAP)

17. The Indigenous Arts Advisory Panel was created in 2000 to provide strategic advice on the development of cultural activities in the Indigenous community and also to advise directly on the provision of grants for Indigenous cultural activities. The panel is exclusively comprised of Indigenous artists and arts workers, and is chaired by Mr Grant Hansen. The panel is a subcommittee of the Cultural Affairs Advisory Board and the Chair of the Panel is also a member of the Board (appointed by Council in 2001).

18. The Panel has been actively involved in the development of the Koori Sculpture Walk, and has been instrumental in developing special projects such as the recognition of the 10th anniversary of the Mabo decision.

19. Council is committed to developing a three to five year Indigenous Cultural Strategy in the current financial year, which will be strongly driven by the Panel. The Panel is also developing information on Indigenous protocols and cross cultural awareness.

Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs)

20. The Native Title Act 1993 makes provision for Indigenous Land Use Agreements that offer participants greater flexibility as local or regional agreements regarding native title. While there is lengthy and complex information about where ILUAs may be used and how they may be structured, in essence they provide capacity to negotiate and agree on the critical issues of recognition, identity and acknowledgement.

21. Land Use Agreements may be an effective and constructive means of incorporating various matters into Council’s strategic, corporate and operational decision making and may minimise the potential for community division in these matters.

22. The City’s own Indigenous committees have a cautious approach to Land Use Agreements and recommend that action will first involve quite lengthy consultation. However Council would benefit greatly from adopting a comprehensive consultation approach in relation to ILUAs.

Indigenous Staff, City of Melbourne

23. The Toomangi Study found that, throughout Victoria, there were 37 known Indigenous employees. The City of Melbourne is one of 5 Councils in Victoria employing a staff member dedicated to Indigenous issues, with four other Councils sharing the employment of one Aboriginal policy officer. The Study argues "Councils are in an excellent position to facilitate and encourage their own employment of Indigenous people". Furthermore most of these Councils receive subsidy from the Commonwealth Department of Employment. Case examples in Toomangi also indicate that it is vitally important to Indigenous people, particularly working in non-indigenous environments, to have the support and cultural framework of relations with other Indigenous people.

Indigenous Employment Strategy

24. To that end it is considered that the development of an Indigenous Employment Strategy to actively increase employment opportunities, in any activity of Council, is a worthwhile project for the City of Melbourne to endorse and to introduce with Indigenous community consultation and support.

25. It is also considered that there would be benefits for the consultation to consider the development of an Indigenous Strategic Team within the City of Melbourne to address the many Indigenous matters outlined above. Such a team could be established on a matrix model, with members championed or auspiced by particular Branches, to guarantee the most effective cross Council co-ordination and awareness. The perceived benefits of this approach would include:
25.1 a demonstrable focus on Indigenous employment;
25.2 the development of models for culturally sensitive employment conditions of Indigenous employees;
25.3 a capacity to attract funding for Indigenous traineeships, mentorships and secondments (which are mainly targeted to organisations with sufficient Indigenous staff capacity to properly support such arrangements); and
25.4 the development of expertise over a much wider range of Indigenous issues (history, culture, language, community, health, education etc.).

Time Frame

26. It is proposed that consultation on the model of an Indigenous Employment Strategy is commenced immediately, and a report prepared for Committee's consideration.

27. In accordance with a respectful approach to consultation other issues may be identified and be the subject of further consultation over the coming year. City Plan

28. The directions proposed in this report are integral to City Plan's theme of an Inclusive and Engaging City that welcomes and enables all people to participate fully in City Life. In particular:
28.1 establish community and cultural development programs to promote an understanding of our personal; culture and that of others;o28.2 integrate effective community consultation into policy and decision making processes.
Ensure effective stakeholder consultation is embedded into the development of service solutions, as well as ongoing decision making; and
28.3 express Indigenous culture in appropriate City locations, by preserving significant sites of heritage and installing contemporary public art.

Relation to Council Policy

29. The approach outlined in this report supports and progresses Council’s Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation.

Consultation

30. To date no formal consultation has occurred. The assistance and knowledge of the Indigenous Program Manager, Cultural Affairs (Ms Janina Harding) has been valuable in the preparation of this paper but she has strongly emphasised the need for full consultation. Therefore endorsement of proper and appropriate consultation with Indigenous communities’ representatives is sought.

Government Relations

27. Indigenous matters are of national significance. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has the following priority actions in Indigenous Affairs:
27.1 investing in community leadership initiatives;
27.2 reviewing and re-engineering programmes and services to ensure they deliver practical measures that support families, children and young people; and
27.3 forging greater links between the business sector and Indigenous communities to help promote economic independence.

28. The Victorian Government’s Indigenous Affairs policies are broadly driven by a partnership approach between Government and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities at state and local levels. The Government recognises that in order to achieve outcomes there must be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander input into identifying key issues and planning through to evaluation and review. Of significance to Council are that all policy positions recognise that there is a need for mainstream agencies to be culturally responsive.

29. As part of the consultation process it is important that the views and recommendations of key organisations such as Aboriginal Affairs Victoria are factored in to the final proposal.

Recommendation [of management: This recommendation was substituted by my resolution above]

30. That the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee:

30.1 note the City’s existing programs and relationships for and with Melbourne’s Indigenous communities, outlined in Attachment 1;
30.2 approve appropriate and respectful consultation with Indigenous spokespersons and organisations in relation to the development of an Indigenous Employment Strategy; and
30.3 note that this decision is being made under delegation from the Council and is subject to the referral notice process.


CITY OF MELBOURNE INDIGENOUS ACTIVITIES [Attachment 1 to the above report]

Council Advisory Committees

· Aboriginal Consultative Group (Council wide);

· Indigenous Arts Advisory Panel (Cultural Affairs); and

· Indigenous Advisory Forum (Community Services).

Dedicated Indigenous Support (2002/3 budget)

· Management of Welcome to Country ceremonies on behalf of CoM;

· $230,000 pa arts grant program for projects initiated by Indigenous artists / organisations;

· $80,000 pa development funds for Reconciliation / Cultural Development projects;

· 20,000 grant for Aboriginal Liaison Mechanism; and

· Indigenous Mentorship Program.

Significant Cultural Events

· Sorry Day – the Cultural Affairs Branch has organised a number of Sorry Day events, from a city march and Town Hall reception for the first Sorry Day through to the distribution of Sorry Day badges this year for all CoM staff;

· Support for and participation in the Sydney Corroboree 2000 (March to the Bridge);

· Reconciliation March – support for and participation in for the Melbourne Reconciliation March;

· Support to the Western Metropolitan Region NAIDOC Committee - Cultural Affairs represents the CoM on the committee that co-ordinates a number of activities in the DHS western region, including a ball and a Children's Day; and

· Mabo Day – celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Mabo land rights decision. The CoM through Cultural Affairs hosted a day of cultural presentations and celebrations at the Town Hall and Birrarung Marr, including a visit from the Mayor of the Torres Strait and Mrs Bonita Mabo.

City of Melbourne Initiated or Supported Projects and Activities

· Ilbijerri – Council supports Melbourne’s only Indigenous theatre company through the Indigenous grants program. The CoM was the first government body to offer annual funding to this group (particularly renowned for the play Stolen) and instrumental therefore in encouraging Arts Victoria to follow suit;

· Scar : A Stolen Vision – major sculptural installation in the City Square (May to July 2001) as part of Indigenous recognition of the Centenary of Federation. Installation is now sited in Enterprize Park;o· Circus Tarrangos - Indigenous Circus training initiated by City of Melbourne in conjunction with Circus Oz. This training is a continuation of a project started by Cirque de Soleil in conjunction with the City of Melbourne as Cirque de Soleil’s global gifting program;

· Indigenous Art Trail - A Walking Trail was commissioned by the City of Melbourne several years ago. A new trail is being developed – the first 3 works have been commissioned;

· Lines of Place – Temporary installation commissioned by City of Melbourne to coincide with the opening of new Melbourne Museum. Images on the flags alternate between the European map of Melbourne (Hoddle Grid) and the Indigenous map of Melbourne drawn from works in the collections of the Museum (2000);

· Lost and Found? - Exhibition commissioned by the City of Melbourne for the Centenary of Federation celebrations to reflect Indigenous and migrant cultures, in conjunction with the Immigration Museum and the Koorie Heritage Trust (2001);

· Songlines Music Festival Annual Program supported by the City of Melbourne;

· 2002 Next Wave Festival Program – special additional contribution for the Indigenous component;

· Toom-Buk Toom-Nangi - specially commissioned and designed Indigenous large scale street banners to be used by CoM for major events such as NAIDOC, etc. (2001);

· Art of Reconciliation – CoM publication, through a grant to photographer Ponch Hawkes, to document outcomes of the City’s Indigenous cultural programs.(To be completed mid 2002);

· Moomba - $200,000 dedicated budget for the Indigenous component of Moomba (currently the Garden Party, showcasing Indigenous contemporary music);

· Voices – commission of a new work for organ and didgeridoo, for the recently restored Town Hall Organ, as part of the City’s Centenary of Federation celebrations. American composer Philip Glass and Aboriginal didgeridoo virtuoso Mark Atkins jointly composed the work. The work included clapsticks played Ron Murray (a Wanba man from Swan Hill) and a narration by Wurundjeri elder Joy Murphy Wandin;

· Artist in residence – Karen Casey (Cultural Affairs and City Projects) 2nd half 2002;

· Common Fate Round Tables - In conjunction with the Eureka Foundation supported and participated in two Round Tables during 2002;

· Institute of Engineers Australia - Award for Excellence in Reconciliation in October 2000; and

· Project Specific Consultation - In accordance with Council's consultation guidelines consultation occurs on relevant projects such as Royal Park master planning.

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May 15 2003: In response to the moves I initiated to commence a 12 month discussion on Indigenous Reconciliation in the City of Melbourne, a series of Melbourne Conversations will be held as a way of getting people together. Following is publicity for the Melbourne Conversations provided by Melbourne City Council.

The City of Melbourne and the History Council of Victoria invite you to An Indigenous History for Contemporary Melbourne: a series of three forums

Debates about 'black armband' and 'white blindfold' history rage in our universities and in the publishing world. Meet with historians, both black and white, elders, artists, activists and other members of the indigenous community to discuss the contested meanings of invasion, occupation and repatriation in Melbourne today.

Forum 1 - Invasion: Contesting Colonialism

Do Melbourne's nineteenth-century foundation stories still influence our contemporary relationships? How can Indigenous encounters with Batman and Buckley lead to an ethics for interaction today? Learn about the Koori inhabitants of the land now occupied by Fed Square? Join us for a frank and fearless discussion of the law, language and legacy of dispossession.

Speakers: Michael Cathcart (Chair - Historian, Broadcaster), Joy Murphy Wandin (Aboriginal Elder of the Wurundjeri People), Tony Birch (Historian, Poet and Writer) and Paul Fox (Historian and Writer)

When: Wednesday 21 May 2003, 6.00 to 7.30 pm (entry from 5.45 pm)
Where: BMW Edge Federation Square (corner Swanston and Flinders Sts.)
Entry is FREE and seating is unreserved

Forum 2 - Occupation: Surviving Dispersal - Wednesday 4 June 2003 - 6.00 to 7:30 pm - BMW Edge Federation Square

Twentieth-century Melburnians have experienced a depression, world wars, suburban expansion and major cultural movements for change. Indigenous inhabitants have survived all of this and much else too. How did the politicisation of Koori communities affect Melbourne's social life? What did black women think of white feminism? Did the Mabo decision take away your backyard swimming pool?

Speakers: Robert Manne (Chair - Writer and Academic), Gary Foley (Curator and Historian), Aileen Moreton-Robinson (Author), Wayne Atkinson (Historian)

Forum 3 - Repatriation: Retrieving Heritage

Wednesday 18 June 2003 - 6.00 to 7:30 pm - BMW Edge Federation Square

Melbourne's cultural institutions are world leaders in formulating strategies and policies for preserving indigenous heritage. What is the role of indigenous historians in the controversial project of repatriating human remains? Do indigenous artists and writers simply record or actively create culture?

Speakers: Tony Birch (Chair - Historian, Poet and Writer) Gary Murray (Chairman, North West Clans), John Harding (Playwright), Jane Lydon (Historical Archaeologist, Monash University)

These forums are presented by City of Melbourne in conjunction with Federation Square Management and History Council of Victoria

For further information call City of Melbourne hotline (03) 9658 9658 www.thatsmelbourne.com.au or e-mail: melbourne.conversations@melbourne.vic.gov.au.

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FURTHER INFORMATION: An essay I wrote in 1992 as part of my law degree is attached: Australia's Black Legal History

The City of Port Philip has a strong commitment to local reconciliation that can be seen at http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/reconciliation.html

The Commonwealth Parliament Legal and Constitutional References Committee Senate Reference Committee report 'Reconciliation: Off Track" was released n October 2003.

2003 Senate Inquiry into Reconciliation: The Legal and Constitutional References Committee Senate Committee Report Reconciliation: Off Track was released in October 2003. The inquiry, undertaken over 18 months, concluded that the current Commonwealth Governments approach to reconciliation is not working. You can download the report by clicking on the underline title.

 

Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

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