City of Melville leads the way in Reconciliation

The City of Melville is the first local government in Western Australia to release a Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), representing the third stage in a series of four as outlined in the reconciliation program by Reconciliation Australia.

The City of Melville’s Stretch RAP 2017-2021 was endorsed by Council in June 2017 following its development in consultation with a number of stakeholders including the RAP Continuous Improvement Team, the Djidi Djidi Aboriginal Women’s Group, the Walyalup Reconciliation Group and Reconciliation Australia.

City of Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said the City was delighted to take the next steps on the reconciliation journey.

“The Stretch RAP demonstrates the City’s continuous commitment to improving relationships, opportunities and respect, in our efforts to reconcile our community,” said Mayor Aubrey.

“This plan allows Melville to delve deeper into the reconciliation process and focus on implementing longer-term strategies, and challenges us to work towards measurable targets and goals to demonstrate commitment to reconciliation within the community and workplace.”

“Our Stretch RAP will advance on the great achievements we have accomplished through our previous Plan the Innovate RAP 2013-2017, including the completion of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Employment and Retention Strategy and increase in commercial relationships with ATSI businesses,” said Mayor Aubrey.

Reconciliation Australia Chief Executive Officer Justine Mohamed congratulated the City on its commitment to reconciliation.

“The City of Melville is a leading advocate for reconciliation, and is demonstrating a deep dedication to making progress across the key pillars of the RAP program - respect, relationships, and opportunities,” said Chief Executive Officer Justin Mohamed.

The Stretch RAP identifies clear actions for achieving the goals of the RAP program, including providing learning opportunities and resources for increasing understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture; creating opportunities for staff and the ATSI community to develop relationships through shared events and engagement; and providing employment and economic development initiatives for ATSI peoples and businesses.

A number of key outcomes were achieved through the implementation of the City’s Innovate RAP 2013-2017 including; Welcome to Country included at all City events; recorded oral histories of four local Aboriginal community members and the filming of an oral history of local Elder Laurel Nannup with support from the Film and Television Institute WA Inc.;  incorporation of Noongar history and culture in the design of projects such as Carawatha Park and Wireless Hill; cross cultural awareness training for City staff and Elected Members and opportunities for staff and the community to participate in Noongar language workshops and cultural tours to mark significant dates such as National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week; and the completion of Aboriginal Engagement Strategy: Directions from Aboriginal Communities 2015-2018.

For more information and to view a copy of the Stretch RAP, visit www.melvillecity.com.au/rap or contact Community Development Officers (Aboriginal Engagement) Leanne Woods, leanne.woods@melville.wa.gov.au or Shahna Rind, shahna.rind@melville.wa.gov.au.