Local Land Services activities and programs will now have greater input from Aboriginal communities, with the development and launch of the Reconciliation Action Plan in Deniliquin this week.
Hosted jointly by Murray LLS and the Deniliquin Aboriginal Lands Council, the local launch was in addition to a state-wide launch held in Sydney.
Murray LLS general manager Gary Rodda — who was a member of the steering committee overseeing the development of the plan — said the RAP will guide the actions, protocols and projects undertaken by LLS to reflect the concerns and opinions from local communities.
He said more than 2700 individuals and local Aboriginal groups were consulted across NSW to help in developing practical actions that build respectful relationships and create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
‘‘We have numerous Aboriginal staff who are working in partnership with individuals and organisations, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, to deliver services to ensure that Aboriginal culture and values underpin natural resource management decisions,’’ he said.
Murray LLS director Colin Bull said the organisation is responsible for consulting and engaging with Aboriginal communities in areas and works to develop strong partnerships to drive increased Indigenous land management opportunities.
He said the RAP offers practical actions built on relationships, respect and opportunities.
‘‘Our Reconciliation Action Plan is important because it contributes to creating a reconciled, just and equitable community for all Australians,’’ he said.
‘‘There is nothing to fear or to lose in the recognition of historical truth, or the extension of social justice, or the deepening of Australian social democracy to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. There is everything to gain.
‘‘At Murray Local Lands Services, we aim to create social change and economic opportunities in land management to support Aboriginal communities to realise aspirations and visions for the future.
‘‘Our ‘Reconciliation Statement’, endorsed by the Local Land Services Board, formalises our shared vision.’’
Deniliquin Aboriginal Lands Council chair Stephen Charles said the organisation’s adoption of the plan formalises a partnership and collaboration with the traditional owners.
‘‘We’re heading in the right direction in acceptance of Aboriginal people and the reconciliation of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people,’’ Mr Charles said.
‘‘For those who grew up not being accepted it is good to see it moving in the right direction.
‘‘It is a good thing as long as we don’t forget the past, and if we can keep it going forward it can only get better.’’