Reconciliation

Council acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land that makes up Baw Baw Shire. We pay our respects to their Elders both past and present. We acknowledge that their connection to Country is both ancient and ongoing. 

Baw Baw Shire Council's Statement of Reconciliation

In 2000 Baw Baw Shire Council committed to a statement of reconciliation. It seeks to build mutually respectful relationships between Indigenous and other Australians that allow us to work together to solve problems and generate success that is in everyone's best interests.

Council is committed to walking together in harmony, friendship, reconciliation and recognition. In 2013, Council formally reaffirmed our Statement of Reconciliation. It asserts our commitment to recognising aboriginal cultures and heritage into the future and working towards a future where all residents will enjoy equality and achieve their full potential.

The Statement reads:

Baw Baw Shire Council - Statement of Reconciliation

This statement was originally adopted on 28 June 2000 and reaffirmed by Cr Murry Cook, Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Council and Cheryl Drayton, Kurnai Community Elder on 1 June 2013.

Baw Baw Shire Council recognises the history of this land and its Aboriginal people, who were the first inhabitants of this land.

We acknowledge and respect the culture and rights of our indigenous community and recognise that in the colonisation of Australia, the Aboriginal people were dispossessed and subjected to discriminatory government policies that led to many injustices.

We acknowledge our need to promote a better understanding of Aboriginal culture and heritage.

We commit ourselves to work for the elimination of every form of racism and discrimination.

We acknowledge the right of indigenous Australians to live according to their own customs.

We value the rich diversity of cultures of all residents of the Shire.

We commit the council to go forward to the future with Aboriginal community in a spirit of mutual respect and reconciliation.

Baw Baw Shire Council sincerely regrets the pain, grief and suffering experienced by Aboriginal people as a result of past actions, government laws and policies and attitudes, and undertake a commitment to ensure that these injustices will never happen again. We hope, now, for a future where all residents will enjoy equality, accept responsibilities and achieve their full potential.

Join in National Reconciliation Week 2021

There are many ways you can actively participate in National Reconciliation Week 2021.

Do something

Join us for an Author/Artist talk with Eileen Harrison – 31 May, Warragul. Tickets are free, but bookings are essential. Full details at Author/Artist Talk with Eileen Harrison | Facebook

Facebook Event Banner featuring photo of Eileen Harrison

Read something

Get news from Reconciliation Australia  and Reconciliation Victoria. Links to social media channels are available from these sites.

See something

Look for new street flags featuring the artwork 'Mother and Child' by Eileen Harrison (used with permission).  You can read more about the artwork in the dropdown tab titled 'About the artwork 'Mother and Child' by Eileen Harrison'.

Reconciliation Week Flag, featuring artwork 'Mother and Child' and slogan 'Historical Acceptance' Reconciliation Week Flag, featuring artwork 'Mother and Child' and slogan 'Race Relations'' Reconciliation Week Flag, featuring artwork 'Mother and Child' and slogan 'Institutional Integrity'' Reconciliation Week Flag, featuring artwork 'Mother and Child' and slogan 'Equality & Equity'' Reconciliation Week Flag, featuring artwork 'Mother and Child' and slogan 'Unity'

About National Reconciliation Week - 27 May to 3 June

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to turn our minds to our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in our communities and across Australia. Visit the Reconciliation Australia website to find out more. Home | Reconciliation Australia

This year’s theme is 'More Than A Word - Reconciliation Takes Action'.

Reconciliation Week Banner with slogan 'More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.'

The Reconciliation Australia website says “The 2021 National Reconciliation Week theme, More than a word. Reconciliation takes action, urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action.”

Download posters, colouring page and digital backgrounds here Posters and Resources 2021 - National Reconciliation Week 2021

Find out the meaning of the official artwork and what Australians are encouraged to do at More than a Word. Reconciliation Takes Action - National Reconciliation Week 2021.

Significance of 27 May and 3 June

The 27th of May and 3rd of June are important dates in Australia’s history.

  • 27th May marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum when Australians voted to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • 3rd June marks the historic 1992 Mabo decision in which the High Court of Australia recognised native title.

National Sorry Day - 26 May

The day before the beginning of National Reconciliation Week (26 May) is National Sorry Day. This was first held in Sydney in 1998 and is now commemorated nationally to remember and honour the Stolen Generations.

Read more about National Sorry Day National Sorry Day | Australian Human Rights Commission.

About the artwork ‘Mother and Child’ by Eileen Harrison

“It doesn’t matter what colour you are, you know? Share the love.” - Artist Eileen Harrison speaking in May 2021 about her painting, Mother and Child.

 The painting 'Mother and Child' by Eileen Harrison

Title: Mother and Child
Artist: Eileen Harrison
Year: Circa 2015
Materials: Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 61cm x 61 cm


“I did this painting a few years ago. This was just after my granddaughter had her baby boy. Now her baby is five. My granddaughter was the reason why I did this painting. I asked her if I could have her hand and her son’s hand in the middle. So, the reason why I asked her to do this is because she is totally deaf. She does sign language. And I looked after her for some time. She went to the deaf school in St Kilda.

“At this stage in her life, she’s always talked about having a child but because of her disability I think there were others who didn’t want her to have any. But to me, I believe all people with a disability are entitled to have a child as long as they look after them the right way.

I think she had two miscarriages before that time. When she had this little boy, she was very emotional. She cried a lot. It really got to me. Because I’m very close to her son. I cut the cord when he was born.

I come to thinking about this. The circles represent the women. This painting is very strong because there’s more women in here. The little small circles are the children.

“Another thing is the different colours in them. Because this how my family is now. I got family, in-laws, that are fair. The baby’s father is white. My other granddaughter she’s got a white boyfriend too. This is how I look at my family. I love them all. It doesn’t matter what colour you are, you know? Share the love.”