Ipswich City Council has reaffirmed its commitment to reconciliation as the community marks National Reconciliation Week, from 27 May to 3 June, with a focus on this year’s theme Be a Voice for Generations.
The council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Working Group has been meeting regularly to promote consultative and tangible improvements, such as coordinating Indigenous business events, incorporating Indigenous designs into council uniforms and official recognition of culturally significant days.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the city embraced the 2023 theme by encouraging residents to keep being a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives.
“Reconciliation Week is a time when we can all pause, reflect and take concrete steps towards addressing the ongoing disparities faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including health, education, and social inequality,” Mayor Harding said.
“Reconciliation is a continual process and it applies to where we live, work and socialise. Council is committed to supporting this year’s theme through our actions in the Indigenous Accord 2020-2025, which provides a framework for collaboration and co-operation.
“One example of this is our commitment to working with the community to hold the inaugural First Nations Business and Employment Showcase here in Ipswich on 2 June. This is just one step to move the city forward on the path of healing, equality, unity and meaningful progress.”
The Indigenous Accord 2020-2025 is council’s strategic framework for reconciliation and community governance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said council continued to make consultative and tangible improvements in the spirit of the Accord endorsed by council three years ago.
“The Accord acknowledges the significance of collaboration between the community and the government in striving for optimal outcomes for Ipswich. It is gratifying that several milestones have been accomplished, highlighting the effectiveness of this partnership,” Cr Fechner said.
Some of the achievements made under the Accord in the past eight months include:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork and cultural heritage iconography included in the Colleges Crossing draft plan.
- Implementation of a Days of Celebration calendar that include significant dates of importance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- Continuing development of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Engagement Guide to assist in informing the membership of and establishing the Traditional Owner Steering Committee, as well as the Native Title & Cultural Heritage Advisory Group.
- Work with local businesses continues to provide opportunities to come together and share experiences through Black Coffee network meetings.
For more information about council’s initiatives under the Indigenous Accord 2020-2025 visit Indigenous information at Ipswich City Council.