What is reconciliation?

Reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.

Council endorsed an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statement of Commitment in 1997 to demonstrate support for reconciliation, and recommitted to this Statement again in 2012.

The City of Port Phillip community have told us they see Council as having a role in reconciliation within our City, as heard in the Attitudes to Reconciliation Barometer Survey 2019.

About this project

We are currently preparing Council's third Reconciliation Action Plan, to turn our intentions for reconciliation into measurable actions.

In this Plan, we continue our ongoing commitment to making reconciliation part of everyday business at the City of Port Phillip. Our third Reconciliation Action Plan sets out the steps we will take to advance those things we do well, and improve our services to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents.

The City of Port Phillip is part of the Kulin Nation – a large region spanning from the southernmost point of Victoria up into the Great Dividing Range. The area we now call our City has been home to Bunurong, Boonwurrung and Wurundjeri people for over 55,000 years. First Peoples have and continue to care for Country in our City for generations.

What has happened so far?

Since January, we have been engaging with representatives from Bunurong Land Council, Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and Boonwurrung Land and Sea Council, as well as First Nations service providers and our First Peoples community, to inform the draft Plan.

We'd like to hear now from the broader community around your thoughts on the draft Plan and your ideas on ways you can help to support reconciliation in the City of Port Phillip.

The City of Port Phillip has a vision for a community that fully embraces our local living cultures. We celebrate the vibrant tapestry of shared and diverse cultural connections to our city. The Council’s vision for reconciliation is to be an inclusive organisation that supports the cultural diversity of the residents living across Port Phillip.

Our commitment to reconciliation is about coming together. It centres on strengthening enduring connections with Traditional Owner groups and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities linked to the contemporary footprint of our city. We strive to provide our communities with opportunities for self-determination and a voice.

We strongly support First Peoples’ inherent right to self-determination and are deeply committed to the actions in this Reconciliation Action Plan. We will implement these actions in ways that are consistent with the expertise and ambitions of First Peoples and our key partners and stakeholders.

With sincere empathy, we acknowledge the harmful impacts of colonisation upon First Peoples. We recognise the reverberating, multifaceted impacts that First Peoples face and understand that these harms can be far-reaching and intergenerational, as a result of past laws, policies, systems and structures. This systemic and structural racism has normalised the exclusion and disempowerment of First Peoples and ultimately denied their human right to self-determination.

This Reconciliation Action Plan represents the Council’s continued commitment to support meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with First Peoples in Port Phillip. Meaningful relationships are the key to building and delivering a culturally appropriate and responsive service and enhance accountability and transparency to Bunurong, Boonwurrung and Wurundjeri people and all First Peoples.

In our efforts to evaluate our previous Reconciliation Action Plan, we have contemplated ways to enhance relationships, foster respect and create opportunities for First Peoples. With direct consultation with Traditional Owners, we know we can improve how we embed reconciliation through our core business. We are on a journey of continual growth and will address the evolving needs of Port Phillip's First Peoples, ensuring their experiences with Council’s services and facilities are positive.

We will take action to support our community to foster meaningful relationships, provide opportunities for local gatherings, enhance our cultural awareness and cultural safety, encourage leadership and support opportunities for self-determination.

Ways you can join the conversation

Here are some ways you can join the conversation about reconciliation in our City:

  • Read a historical account of our City

    We worked with the Boonwurrung Foundation to develop Yalukit Willam: The River People of Port Phillip, a suburb-by-suburb account of historical events through the point of view of descendants and contemporaries of the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung.

    Read the e-book here 

Read more about the artwork featured at the top of this page

Artwork featured at the top of this webpage is Intertidal by artist Julie Gough, 2004

This artwork is part of the Port Phillip City Collection

This artwork was made with ground Victorian cuttlefish, ground beach-washed charcoal from burnt down St Kilda Pier pavilion, ground red earth pigment from Phillip Island, ground yellow earth pigment from Phillip Island, ground green earth pigment (Boral).

100 x 80cm

Artist Language Group: Trawlwoolway

© Julie Gough. Courtesy of the Artist and Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi