Shire of Yarra Ranges Statement of Apology and Statement of Commitment
|Date: ||1 September 1997|
|Sub Category:||Statement of Commitment/Intention|
|Subject Matter:||Reconciliation | Local Government|
|Summary Information: |
|The Shire of Yarra Ranges Council was the first municipality in the State of Victoria to make both a statement of commitment and apology to its Indigenous people in September 1997.|
|Detailed Information: |
|The Statement of Apology reads:
The Yarra Ranges Shire Council recognises the past injustices and treatment of Aboriginal Peoples.
If we are to proceed in an open hearted and responsible way to address the issues which will come before us in the future we first need to acknowledge the past.
Council recognises the need to confront the policies and practices which caused the forced removal and separation of Aboriginal children from their parents and families, the effects of which continue today.
Accordingly, we wish to express our deep sorrow and sincerely apologise for the pain, the grief and the suffering experienced by Aboriginal Peoples as a result of past laws, government policy and actions.
The Statement of Commitment reads:
Yarra Ranges Shire Council recognises:
· The habitation of this land by local Indigenous people
· The customs and traditions of Indigenous Australians and their spiritual relationship with the land
· The valuable contribution made by Aboriginal people and their culture to the history of the region
· The value of the diversity and strength of Indigenous cultures to the heritage of all Australians
· The principles of equity and access for all members of the Indigenous community to culturally appropriate services and programs
The Council supports:
· The rights of all Indigenous people as outlined in the Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People
· The vision as expressed by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation of a united Australia which respects this land of ours, values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and provides justice and equality for us all
The Council is committed to:
· Promote and facilitate the presentation of Aboriginal cultural heritage in a way that is sensitive to and respects the dignity and protocols of the local Indigenous community
· Participating in education processes which enhance the understanding and awareness of Indigenous heritage and the needs of our Indigenous communities
· Undertaking and participating in programs and activities which display our ongoing commitment to Indigenous issues
· Advocacy on behalf of the Indigenous members of our community to ensure the principles and commitments of this statement are upheld.|