By Danielle Kutchel
Cardinia Council has used NAIDOC Week to preview its draft Reconciliation Action Plan.
The Plan, which hasn’t yet been released for public consultation, was presented in sectioned steps at a ‘Let’s Talk Reconciliation’ evening at Pakenham Library on Thursday July 11.
Interested community members dropped in to view the steps involved in the plan and share ideas on how it could be improved.
Deputy mayor councillor Collin Ross said the council had been working in conjunction with local Indigenous groups for many years and had taken on board their ideas and suggested themes.
“With more people moving in with an Indigenous background, we would really like them to feel welcomed and feel part of the fabric of our society, which they are because they are foundational,” he said.
The 2016 Census data reports a total of 780 Aboriginal and Torres Strait people were living in Cardinia Shire. Cr Ross said the population is expected to grow in the coming years.
“We try to work with the different groups so that we don’t head out on our own,” Cr Ross said.
“We want to build on the partnerships we have.”
Cardinia’s social inclusion officer, Alison Brash, said the council would be undertaking “extensive consultation” on the draft plan, which would be online for public view soon.
The ultimate goal, she added, was to foster connectedness in the community.
“I want people to feel connected and culturally safe, and for kids to thrive and have wonderful opportunities,” she said.