Traditional Owners at heart of council policy

By Campaspe News

CAMPASPE Shire Council has adopted a new policy that it says outlines its commitments to recognising Traditional Owners at civic functions and in business activities.

Mayor Adrian Weston said it was another step forward in building relationships between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people based on respect.

‘‘Council’s role in protecting and conserving places of Aboriginal cultural heritage significance, and in promoting community awareness of Aboriginal history and cultural heritage, can only be achieved through effective relationships,’’ Cr Weston said.

‘‘This policy will assist council to observe the appropriate protocols when recognising the Traditional Owners at council-run events and civic functions.

‘‘It details when a ‘Welcome to Country’ and/or ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ are appropriate and who can perform them. It also provides the appropriate ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ wording to use in different circumstances.

‘‘In addition to these event protocols, the policy reaffirms our continued commitment to flying the Aboriginal flag at the council offices, and our continued support of NAIDOC Week and Reconciliation Week celebrations.’’

Each of the three registered Aboriginal parties representing the Traditional Owners — Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Corporation, Taungurung Land and Waters Council, and Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation — reviewed and provided input into the draft policy before its presentation to council for adoption.