Our statement of reconciliation
We declare a public commitment to work towards achieving reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people of the Clarence Valley. We share the social justice vision of the former Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation for:
A united Australia which respects this land of ours; values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and provides justice and equity for all.
We are sorry for the hurt and distress caused by past policies which forcibly removed Aboriginal children from their families and homes, which are still having a negative impact on the social, economic, health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We acknowledge and recognise:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples of Australia.
- The loss and grief held by Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders caused by alienation from traditional lands, loss of lives and freedom, and the forced removal of children.
- The customs and traditions of Indigenous Australians and their spiritual relationship with the land.
- The right of Indigenous Australians to live according to their own beliefs, values and customs, and the vital importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s contribution to strengthening and enriching the heritage of all Australians.
- The need for a partnership approach with Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples as part of addressing the needs of whole communities.
- The vision as expressed by the former 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 equity for all.”
- Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians working together for a national agreement or other instrument of reconciliation.
- The need to improve non-indigenous understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues and find new ways to work together in partnership to ensure the principles of equity and access for all members of the Indigenous community to culturally appropriate services and programs.
We are committed to:
- Developing and promoting, as appropriate, Indigenous involvement in events and celebrations of significance, which respect the dignity and protocols of the local indigenous community, for example, inviting Elders to welcome participants to events.
- Taking effective action on issues of social, environmental and economic concern as identified in the Clarence Valley Social Plan, where they fall within the sphere of interest and responsibility of the Clarence Valley Council.
- Promoting and participating in education processes, which enhance the increased acknowledgement, understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage and the needs of indigenous communities.
- Developing strategies that improve the level of participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in local government at all levels.