HINDMARSH Shire Council intend on strengthening its relationship with the indigenous community.
The council intends on developing a Hindmarsh Reconciliation Action Plan this year.
Mayor Debra Nelson said council was working on the document in consultation with the Barengi Gadjin Land Council.
“We will be working towards trying identify where council goals and their goals meet,” she said.
Cr Nelson said the project was an extremely important for their shire.
“We have double the state average of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” she said.
“The state average is 0.7 per cent.
“We have 1.5 per cent.”
Cr Nelson said the plan was about building relationships.
“Sometimes the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community have been isolated,” she said.
“We really need to embrace them and let them know we think they’re important and work together to produce great outcomes.”
Cr Nelson said the document would cover a diverse range of topics.
“There’s all sorts of things that can go into this reconciliation plan,” she said.
Cr Nelson said one example of need for a collaborative effort was the Hindmarsh Trail, which council intend on forging from the Little Desert at Dimboola to Wyperfeld National Park along the Wimmera River and Lake Hindmarsh.
“There is an enormous amount of scar trees and history on that trail,” she said.
She said council hoped to protect and preserve culturally sensitive areas.
It all needs to start from a young age, the promotion of reconciliation, tolerance and respect.Hindmarsh Mayor Debra Nelson
Cr Nelson said she would like to see school programs be included in the plan.
“It all needs to start from a young age, the promotion of reconciliation, tolerance and respect,” she said.
“There’s so much to learn and it’s exciting for kids to learn more about it.
“It’s part of the shire’s history and it’s important.”
Cr Nelson said there was also scope to host a shire event during National Reconciliation Week.
She said the Hindmarsh Reconciliation Action Plan would be completed this year.
“It’s going to be quite involved,” she said. “While we’re predominantly working with Barengi Gadjin there are other groups that need to be consulted as well.”