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Melbourne City Council Statement of Commitment to Indigenous Australians

Category: Event
Date: 1 January 1997
Sub Category:Statement of Commitment/Intention
Location:Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Alternative Names:
  • Statement of Commitment to Indigenous Australians by the City of Melbourne
  • Subject Matter:Cultural Heritage | Local Government | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests | Reconciliation
    Summary Information:
    The 1997 Statement of Commitment to Indigenous Australians ("the 1997 Statement") is an outcome of the City of Melbourne's commitment to reconciliation, which expresses its commitment to the consultation process and willingness to listen to the views and needs of its Indigenous community.

    The Council signed updated statements of commitment for 2003-2006 and 2007-2010. With some minor changes, the Statement of Commitment 2007-2010 retains the statements set out below in relation to acknowledgement and recognition and advocacy. The third section set out below - actions for the Council - is addressed in the Indigenous Framework 2007-2010.

    Detailed Information:
    The impetus to formalise and extend the City's long and informal commitment to the local Indigenous community arose out of its sponsorship and support of the National Reconciliation Convention in May 1997.

    The 1997 Statement is divided into three parts:

    Acknowledgement and recognition:
  • acknowledgement that Indigenous Australians were the first people of this land;
  • acknowledgment and respect for their law, customs and traditions, and their special relationship with the land;
  • acknowledgement of indigenous Australians' right to live according to their values and customs, subject to Australian law;
  • recognition of the contribution of Koorie people to Victoria;
  • recognition of the value of diversity and strength of indigenous cultures; and
  • recognition "that family life is the core of Aboriginal community life" and that family relationships involve particular social and cultural obligations.

    Advocacy in conjunction with the Koorie community:
  • support for the process of reconciliation with Indigenous Australians;
  • working together "for a treaty or other instrument of reconciliation" (cf the 2007-2010 Statement, which refers to reconciliation generally);
  • elimination of racism or discrimination, ensuring enjoyment of equal rights;
  • recognition and respect for Aboriginal sacred sites and special places;
  • community education about Aboriginal heritage and culture; and
  • advocacy to uphold these principles and commitments.

    Actions for the Council:
    A number of commitments are listed, including:
  • the identification and protection of sites of cultural heritage significance within the City through the Melbourne Planning Scheme;
  • consideration of assistance in the establishment of Koorie businesses within Melbourne City; and
  • the incorporation of a Koorie ceremony of welcome to be performed as part of the City's formal welcome for important visitors.


  • Related Entries

    Organisation
  • Melbourne City Council - Signatory
  • Event
  • Australian Reconciliation Convention
  • People
  • Koorie People
  • Kulin Nation
  • Policy/Strategy
  • City of Melbourne Indigenous Framework 2007-2010

  • References

    General Reference
    City of Melbourne (2007) Statement of Commitment 2007-2010
    Book
    Australian Local Government Association in Cooperation with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (1999) Working Out Agreements: A Practical Guide to Agreements between Local Government & Indigenous Australians
    Resource
    City of Melbourne (1997) Statement of Commitment to Indigenous Australians by the City of Melbourne

    Glossary

    Statement of Commitment/Intention (Australia)

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