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 2023

There are many ways you can actively participate in National Reconciliation Week 2023.

Do something

This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme, Be Brave Make Change is a challenge to all of us to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians.

Change begins with brave actions in your daily life – where you live, work, play and socialise.

Take these actions with you every day of the year, not just during National Reconciliation Week.

To celebrate the start of Reconciliation Week 2023, Baw Baw Shire Council unveiled Three Kurnai Women, as life-sized bronze sculpture celebrating the leadership of three Kurnai women who kept their community safe and their culture alive from the 1940s to the 1960s on Jackson’s Track, Labertouche.

The artwork celebrates First Nations women Dorothy Hood, Euphemia Mullet Tonkin and Regina Rose, and was developed by local artists Jessie McLennan and Rebecca Vandyk-Hamilton, working in close consultation with local Kurnai Elder Cheryl Drayton and Jeannie Haughton.

Click here to read more about the sculpture.

Read something

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

See something

Reconciliation Victoria has a series of free webinars and events that you can participate in.

Click here to access the events calendar and find something near you or online.

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 'Be brave. Make change'.


The Reconciliation Australia website says “The National Reconciliation Week 2022 theme, “Be Brave. Make Change.” is a challenge to all Australians— individuals, families, communities, organisations and government—to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians.”

Download posters, colouring page and digital backgrounds here Posters and Resources 2022 - National Reconciliation Week 2022 to show your support for National Reconciliation Week.

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.