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City of Albany Aboriginal Accord

Category: Agreement
Date: 27 March 2003
Sub Category:Regional Agreement
Location:Albany, Western Australia, Not specified
Approximately 403 kilometres southeast of Perth, Western Australia. The City of Albany covers an area of 4315 square kilometres, stretching along the southern coastline from Hay River in the west to the Pallinup River in the east. It is bordered by the Shires of Denmark, Plantagenet, Gnowangerup and Jerramungup.
Subject Matter:Collaboration / Partnership | Cultural Heritage | Economic Development | Education | Employment and Training | Environmental Heritage | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests | Local Government
Summary Information:
The Albany Aboriginal Accord (the Accord) was signed on the 27 March 2003 by the City of Albany (represented by the Mayor Alison Goode and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Hammond), on behalf of the Aboriginal People of Albany (represented by Noel Coyne, Edith Penny, Darryl Williams and Lynette Knapp) and witnessed by the Hon. Alan Carpenter, MLA, Western Australian Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

In November 1999 a Statement of Commitment and Understanding had been signed between the City of Albany, the Albany Aboriginal community and the wider Albany community. The document contained a commitment to establish an Accord to 'promote a greater understanding throughout the community of Aboriginal and non Aboriginal peoples' history and culture'.

The wording of the Accord states that its aims and that of its associated Action Plan 'have been guided by the vision outlined within the Statement of Understanding and Commitment. They are [to]:

  • Recognise the cultural and spiritual links that Noongar people have to the land and sea;
  • Recognise Noongar people as the traditional owners of the country (Albany);
  • Acknowledge the loss of culture and customs that Aboriginal people suffered as a result of European settlement;
  • Acknowledge the right of Aboriginal people to live according to their traditional values and customs, subject to law;
  • Recognise and respect places that have cultural significance to Noongar people;
  • Raise awareness and understanding of Aboriginal and non Aboriginal peoples' history and culture;
  • Promote reconciliation and provide a process of negotiation and cooperation;
  • Ensure that Aboriginal people share the economic and social prosperity of the City of Albany; and
  • Build a partnership between the City of Albany, the people of Albany and the Aboriginal community based on mutual respect, understanding, cooperation and trust.'
  • Detailed Information:
    The Accord is in a number of sections. At the front of the document is set out the 1999 Statement of Understanding and Commitment which is followed by a section on the background to Albany. This background includes information on the following - location, population, local economy, tourism, education, lifestyle, State, Federal and Local Government services and facilities, and the City's vision, mission and values.

    The City's vision and mission are set out in the City's Strategic Plan, Albany 2020 - Charting Our Course. The Mission (quoted in the Accord) states: 'As trustees for Albany's future on behalf of our diverse communities, your Council will be a customer driven organisation committed to service and on-going communication in order to evaluate and respond to changing community needs and expectations.' In addition the Strategic Plan states the City's objectives to include:

  • The City of Albany is committed to developing a vibrant community where all are encouraged to participate and contribute;
  • The Council …. is committed to meeting the needs and aspirations of the whole community, as well as meeting the needs and aspirations of specific stakeholder groups. (Accord p7).

    The Accord makes it clear (p7) that it has been developed in accordance with the above objectives, has been guided by the vision of the Statement of Understanding and Commitment and developed in consultation with the Aboriginal community of Albany.

    The second section is an introduction to the role of the City of Albany, the Statement of Understanding and Commitment and to the Accord aims.

    The methodology used in the development of the Accord is set out in the third section. The following broad subject areas 'were identified to give direction and format to the Accord process and to guide the development of objectives and strategies…
  • Cross cultural awareness;
  • Consultative mechanisms and liaison;
  • Social and economic planning;
  • Environment;
  • Local history and site conservation;
  • Arts and culture;
  • Employment, Education and Training;
  • Young people.'

    Key processes used in developing the Accord were demographic analysis; interviews and consultation with Aboriginal people and local Aboriginal community groups; community group meetings involving members of the Aboriginal community; focus group meetings including Aboriginal representatives and representatives from the State Department of Indigenous Affairs; the formation of an Aboriginal Accord Advisory Committee to operate under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1995 (WA) and in accordance with terms of reference established by the City Council (appended to the Accord); review of collected information and data; and stakeholder feedback. The wider Albany community were given the opportunity to 'view and make comment on both the Accord and Action Plan documents, prior to their adoption by Council.' (p10).

    The Aboriginal Accord Advisory Committee was comprised of representatives from the City of Albany, Aboriginal community groups and the wider Aboriginal community. Representatives from the State Department of Indigenous Affairs also attended committee meetings in an advisory capacity.

    Section 4 of the Accord sets out the Accord objectives under each of the subject areas identified above. Importantly, the objectives recognise Aboriginal people as the traditional owners of the land of Albany and that, as the first inhabitants of the land, they have a right to be involved in the management of that land. The objectives focus strongly on consultation between the Council and the Aboriginal community. The objectives also focus on improving awareness and understanding amongst the Council, Council staff and the general community of Aboriginal culture, traditional laws, customs, art, Indigenous flora and fauna and local Aboriginal history. They further focus on improving the status and recognition of Aboriginal people within the community and in encouraging their active participation in civic and community affairs. Increasing employment opportunities, education and training and improving the status and standing of young Aboriginal people in Albany are also important objectives.

    Each objective is back by an Accord strategy, set out in detail in section 5 of the Accord.

    An Aboriginal Liaison Officer has been based at the City of Albany, seconded from the State Department of Indigenous Affairs, to assist with the implementation of the Albany Aboriginal Accord and Action Plan.

  • Related Entries

    Organisation
  • City of Albany
  • Department of Indigenous Affairs (WA)
  • Legislation
  • Local Government Act 1995 (WA)
  • People
  • Noongar People
  • Policy/Strategy
  • City of Albany Aboriginal Accord Action Plan
  • City of Albany Statement of Understanding and Commitment

  • References

    Book Chapter
    Kathryn Shain, William Genat and Ed Wensing (2006) 'Agreement-Making in the Local Context: Case Studies from Regional Australia' in Marcia Langton et al (eds), Settling with Indigenous People: Modern treaty and agreement-making (The Federation Press, 2006).

    Documents

    Document
    City of Albany Aboriginal Accord- full text document - ( PDF | Thumbnail)

    Glossary

    Regional Agreement

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