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.