Horsham Rural City Council reconciliation action plan moves forward

A RECONCILIATION action plan was submitted to Reconciliation Australia after it was endorsed by Horsham Rural City Council at the meeting on Monday night. 

Community services director Kevin O’Brien said the plan had three key focus areas – relationships, respect and opportunities – which have associated actions

“The reconciliation action plan that council has developed aims to build the foundations for relationships, respect and opportunities and strategic directions and objectives tailored to the organisation to support reconciliation,” he said. 

“When actions are completed council can consider developing the next reconciliation action plan.”

Mayor Pam Clarke said the plan was only the first step and once finalised the real work began. 

She said white Australians cannot make the judgement to decide when reconciliation was achieved. 

“It is when our Koori community feel very welcomed and accepted by our community – that when it will end, but that is not up to us to make that judgement,” she said. 

Chief executive Peter Brown said the plan was a significant step forward for the community and a personal highlight.

Actions to target the opportunities area include closing the gap of disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

Mr Brown said council was moving forward by providing opportunities that support education, employment and retention of Indigenous Australians. 

“One of the things that this council is doing is taking on Aboriginal trainees, which is working well at the moment,” he said. 

“It is an ongoing process and it is important to see into the future.” 

Councillor Les Power said reconciliation was a continuous road. 

He said the plan allowed the community to work together as one and move towards a “brighter and better future.” 

The plan was sent to Reconciliation Australia for feedback. Once feedback is received the plan will be finalised.​