At its regular monthly meeting earlier this week, Council unanimously resolved to reaffirm its unwavering commitment to reconciliation. Having previously adopted a positive position on the Voice referendum Council acknowledged that the failure to alter the Australian Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia is a lost opportunity to set things right.

Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, said “The rejection of the opportunity to demonstrate inclusiveness, respect, justice and equity for all Australians and to address historical inequality will have far-reaching consequences for many in our community.  The referendum result must cause anguish and distress.”

In that context Council resolved that when advancing from a Reflect Reconciliation Plan (RAP) to an Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan Council remains committed to:

(a) Further recognising, strengthening, protecting and promoting Dja Dja Wurrung culture and connection to Country, for the benefit of our local communities.

(b) Broadening opportunities for reconciliation in the Hepburn Shire.

(c) Refining Hepburn Shire Council business processes to create a culturally safe workplace.

(d) Ensuring Council officers have the knowledge and resources to meet Council’s obligations for maintaining and managing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage locally.

Council was also mindful that events overseas, in the Middle East and Ukraine, create the risk of significant adverse effects on the mental health and general wellbeing of our people, especially through intensive media coverage.

In that context Council resolved to reaffirm its commitment to implementing policies, strategies and programs founded in fairness, inclusion, respect, diversity, equity and prevention of violence and to condemn the use of violence or other forms of offensive behaviour or language, particularly when it is directed towards people such as LGBTQIA+ or cultural or religious groups or individuals.


This article is based on a media release from Hepburn Shire Council.