Cr Brian Hood

As Mayor I have the privilege of chairing our Reconciliation Advisory Committee.

Hepburn Shire Council’s vision for reconciliation is to promote unity, respect and understanding between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other community members. Council’s relationship with Traditional Owners is built on respect, understanding and acknowledgement of their history and we seek to ensure Hepburn Shire is a place where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their heritage, cultures and spirituality are valued, respected and celebrated.

Hepburn Shire Council formally supported the key principles of the Uluru Statement of the Heart and the Voice to Parliament in the 2023 Referendum. Council respectfully acknowledges the outcome of the referendum whilst remaining unanimously resolved to reaffirming our unwavering commitment to reconciliation.

Hepburn Shire Council has been on our reconciliation journey for some time, and actively promotes and advocates for reconciliation through a number of strategies and initiatives. We have worked through the implementation of our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which includes some significant projects including returning Traditional Owners language to country through the renaming of Larni Barramal Yaluk, the co-naming of Lalgambuk / Mt Franklin, and the recently announced naming of Djuwang Baring – the Creswick trails project; and the promotion of Traditional Owners culture and history through The Manna Gums Frontier War Memorial and The Coranderrk Portraits.

In recent months we have engaged in a whole-of-council approach in the development of our next Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Our Innovate RAP and its actions and deliverables will be informed by consultation with Traditional Owners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, community stakeholders, and Council staff and will map our continued pathway towards reconciliation. The Innovate RAP will focus on developing and strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and developing innovative strategies to empower First Nations peoples. The Innovate RAP is scheduled to be considered by Council prior to the election in October 2024.

Cr Brian Hood is the Mayor of Hepburn Shire and the Chair of the Reconciliation Advisory Committee.