Greater Shepparton City Council and Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation today signed the Memorandum of Understanding endorsed by Council at the September Council Meeting, linking in with NAIDOC Week 2020. The document was signed in Queens Gardens, before of the statue of William Cooper.
Council’s endorsement of the Memorandum of Understanding in September was another step in formalising its commitment to supporting increased participation by and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Council planning and decision-making. Both organisations share the desire to work together to improve the understanding and integration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aspirations in the planning and services provided by Council.
By endorsing and signing the Memorandum of Understanding, both organisations will continue to strive to support increased community participation, improve employment opportunities and improve health and wellbeing outcomes for members of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. This Memorandum of Understanding between Council and Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation will also increase understanding and recognition throughout the Greater Shepparton community of the region’s rich Aboriginal heritage and proud tradition.
The Memorandum of Understanding is underpinned by a series of agreed principles and actions:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are acknowledged as the first people of this land, which is now reflected in the revised Acknowledgement – We, Greater Shepparton City Council, acknowledge the Yorta Yorta Peoples of the land which now comprises Greater Shepparton, we pay our respect to their tribal elders, we celebrate their continuing culture and we acknowledge the memory of their ancestors.
- Recognition that the arrival of non-Aboriginal people brought massive change to the landscape and way of life of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and a strong desire exists in Greater Shepparton to acknowledge the past and embrace the process of reconciliation.
- A commitment to working with one another to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s self-determination.
- Ensuring that there is respect, understanding and strong regard held for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage, traditions, customs and beliefs
- Improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce participation, health and wellbeing outcomes are paramount in planning and decision-making.
“It’s a historical time especially during NAIDOC week, for us the Yorta Yorta People,” Uncle Lance James (Yorta Yorta Nation Council of Elders Chairperson) said.
“We have never had recognition before in all our time from the Greater Shepparton City Council. We want it to remain as a long lasting agreement to demonstrate their commitment to Yorta Yorta Nations as Traditional Custodians of the land and our commitment to them.”
“Council is extremely pleased to be working together with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation to ensure services and planning provided by Council always supports increased participation by and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People,” Council CEO Peter Harriott said.
“As a Council, and as a community, we must continue to recognise the past, present and the future contributions of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to Greater Shepparton. “The endorsement of this Memorandum of Understanding will help ensure that this will happen, and that it is undertaken in a respectful, informed, culturally relevant and inclusive way.
“While the Memorandum of Understanding is only a commitment, it provides us with a framework and process to ensure all of this happens, and with the guidance of Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, will support further steps towards true reconciliation with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.”
Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan can be viewed here.
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