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 2022

There are many ways you can actively participate in National Reconciliation Week 2022.

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.

You can also come and be part of a discussion about a new sculpture that will honour three women who significantly impacted the lives of the Kurnai people from the Drouin area. The sculpture will be designed by local artists and installed in Baw Baw Shire. 

The project titled ‘Three Women on Kurnai Country’ will see local artists Jessie McLennan, Rebecca Vandyk-Hamilton, and Jeannie Haughton collaborate with Kurnai elder Aunty Cheryl Drayton to create a life-size bronze artwork and accompanying historic storytelling piece.  

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.

Webinar - Reconciliation in Education - Aboriginal Change Makers

The Aboriginal Change Makers resource, created by Worawa College in partnership with Parliament Victoria, is designed for Victorian students to learn about Aboriginal figures in history and to bring their stories and truth-telling into classrooms across Victoria.

When: Thursday 19 May, 4-5pm

Register here.

Virtual breakfast - Being brave and making change for 20 years.

Reconciliation Victoria representatives will share updates and talk about our journey facilitating reconciliation across the state. Victorian Local Reconciliation Network Presidents will reflect on the brave changes their networks have made to support reconciliation over the past 20 years.

The breakfast will begin with a Welcome to Country by a Wurundjeri Woi- Wurrung Elder. Make yourself a cuppa, tune in, and start your National Reconciliation Week being brave, making, and supporting meaningful change.

When: Friday 27 May, 7.30-9.30am

Register here.

Lunch webinar - RAP leaders in Local Government

An online panel discussion which will circle around the NRW theme Being Brave: Making Change and look at how Council Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) are helping to create positive cultural change, both in workplaces and across municipalities. Also, what work do Councils still need to do to support reconciliation and self-determination for and with First Peoples.

When: Wednesday 1 June, 12pm-1.30pm

Register here.

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.