Key Focus Areas
Greater Shepparton City Council has been developing initiatives within four key focus areas:
- Acknowledgement plaques at town entrance boundaries.
- Acknowledgement to Country before the commencement of Council meetings and whenever Council representatives speak in public.
- Events calendar of when Welcome To Countries are required.
- Greater Shepparton City Council internal Aboriginal Communications Guide.
- "Acknowledgement of the Traditional Owners" page on our website.
- Partnerships: Greater Shepparton City Council aims to develop and maintain strong and meaningful relationships throughout the community.
- Constitutional Recognition forum: A representative from Greater Shepparton Council sits on the planning committee for Constitutional Recognition initiatives that are held locally.
Greater Shepparton City Council has committed to being actively involved in events significant to the Aboriginal Community through either financial or in kind support. These include:
- Greater Shepparton City Council in partnership with the Shepparton Regional Reconciliation Group and Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative host an annual Apology Breakfast to the mark the anniversary of Kevin Rudd's 2008 apology to the stolen generations.
- The Unity Cup is an annual football match between the Rumbalara and Congupna Football/Netball Clubs which aims to promote social inclusion and the role of women in community. Council proudly has representatives attend this match and contributes to the activities undertaken during the day.
- Each year in partnership with the Shepparton Region Reconciliation Group and Rumbalara Aboriginal Co Operative Council host an annual flag raising ceremony to commemorate National Sorry Day.
- Reconciliation Week is held between 27 May and 3 June each year and marks two important dates in Australian history: 27 May is the date that the 1967 referendum was passed to change the constitution to recognise Aboriginal people as full citizens of Australia. 3 June marks the anniversary of the Eddy Mabo case where in 1992 the High Court recognized that Indigenous people had a right to Native Title. This overturned the myth that Australia was ‘terra nullius' prior to European settlements in 1788.
Reconciliation week is acknowledged by the Greater Shepparton City Council by flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flag, in conjunction with the Australian National Flag on the Council's two main flag stations. Council continues to work in partnership with the Shepparton Regional Reconciliation Group and Rumbalara Aboriginal Co Operative to provide community activities during Reconciliation Week such as a flag raising ceremony and Aboriginal film nights.
- NAIDOC Week celebrations are held around Australia each year to celebrate the achievements, culture and history of Aboriginal people and begin on the first Sunday of July every year. NAIDOC week is acknowledged by the Greater Shepparton City Council by flying the Torres Strait Islander Flag in conjunction with the Aboriginal Flag and Australian National Flag on Council's two main flag stations.
Greater Shepparton City Council has continued to partner with many organisations to support NAIDOC celebrations. A representative from Council speaks annually at the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co Operative flag raising ceremony to signal the commencement of NAIDOC week.
Significant Aboriginal Dates
- 26 January - Survival Day: Celebrates the survival of a people and culture expected to die out since British invasion in 1788. Marked by events such as the Survival Day concert first held in Sydney in 1992.
- 13 February - National Apology: Anniversary of the formal apology made on 13 February 2008 by the government and the Parliament of Australia to Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This apology has significant importance to the stolen generations.
- 20 March - National Close the Gap Day: National Close the Gap day aims to reduce the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Close the Gap day is an opportunity for organisations and community to hold events and raise awareness of the life expectancy difference.
- 21 March - Harmony Day: Harmony Day celebrates the cohesive and inclusive nature of Australia and promotes a tolerant and culturally diverse society.
- 26 May - National Sorry Day: National Sorry Day offers the community the opportunity to acknowledge the impact of the policies spanning more than 150 years of forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998 following the 1997 HREOC report Bringing Them Home which recommended that a national day of observance be declared.
- 27 May to 3 June - National Reconciliation Week: National Reconciliation Week was initiated in 1996 to provide a special focus for nationwide activities. The week is a time to reflect on achievements so far and the things which must still be done to achieve reconciliation. National Reconciliation Week offers people across Australia the opportunity to focus on reconciliation, to hear about the cultures and histories of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to explore new and better ways of meeting challenges in our communities. The Week is timed to coincide with two significant dates in Australia’s history, which provide strong symbols of our hopes and aims for reconciliation.
- 27 May - 1967 Referendum: In 1967 over 90% of Australians voted in a Referendum to remove clauses from the Australian Constitution which discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The Referendum also gave the Commonwealth Government the power to make laws on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- 3 June - Mabo Day: Mabo Day marks the anniversary of the High Court of Australia’s judgement in 1992 in the Mabo case. This is a day of particular significance for Torres Strait Islander Australians.
- 1 July - Coming of the Light: This is a particular day of significance for Torres Strait Islander Australians. It marks the day the London Missionary Society first arrived in the Torres Strait. The missionaries landed at Erub Island on 1 July 1871. Religious and cultural ceremonies are held by Torres Strait Islander Christians across the Torres Strait and on the mainland to commemorate this day.
- July - National NAIDOC Week: NAIDOC Week is observed from the first Sunday in July to the second Sunday in July each year. NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The week is celebrated not just in the Indigenous community, but also increasingly in government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces. Wherever you live, taking part in NAIDOC Week is a great way to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to build bridges between all Australians. NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week, and its acronym has become the name of the week itself.
- 4 August - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day: National Aboriginal and Islander Children's Day (NAICD) is an annual event celebrated on 4 August each year, having been established by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) in 1988. Each year, SNAICC has a theme for Children's Day to highlight a significant issue, concern or hope for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
- 9 August - International Day of the World’s Indigenous People: The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of the World's Indigenous People is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s Indigenous population.
Aboriginal Partnerships Officer
Since 2011 Greater Shepparton City Council has employed a dedicated Aboriginal Partnerships officer who works on a part time basis (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday). The objectives of this position are:
- To develop strong and meaningful relationships with our local Aboriginal community to develop trust, participation and social inclusion within our community;
- To work in partnership with Aboriginal community members, service providers, Community Elders and Government bodies to maximise partnerships within the community;
- To advocate for the recognition of Aboriginal people and play an active part in Reconciliation;
- To celebrate and promote significant Aboriginal events and activities held throughout the Municipality;
- To optimise engagement between the Aboriginal community and Council departments;
- To ensure that Council policy and documents are culturally appropriate; and
- To ensure that the Aboriginal community is consulted and represented within Council initiatives.
For more information regarding Aboriginal affairs within Greater Shepparton please contact:
Aboriginal Partnerships Officer
Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays
Phone: 5832 9496
- Your Community, Country and Council – Aboriginal women run for election
In 2014, the VLGA - along with support from funding partners - created a video resource to share stories and advice from women of Victoria’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities about the why, how and when of standing as a local government candidate. The video features Senator Nova Peris OAM.