Important cultural awareness training

Federation RAP Working Group members L to R: Many Mobs Corporation Director Iris Troutman, Bangerang Leaders Uncle Dozer Atkinson and Aunty Sam Atkinson, Cr Sally Hughes, Federation Council Darren Harvey, Corowa and District Landcare Coordinator Judy Kirk, Federation Council Rachel Minogue and Amber Harvey, Cr Aaron Nicholls, Federation Council Yasmin Cole and General Manager Adrian Butler.

As part of National Reconciliation Week, Federation Council has made efforts to further strengthen their reconciliation journey with members of the newly formed Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)Working Group undertaking Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training.

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Training Coordinator, and Bangerang man, Darren ‘Dozer’ Atkinson, and wife Sam, a proud Bangerang Wiradjuri woman were invited to Corowa on June 2.

A Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony was held at the Corowa Civic Centre. Staff and councillors were invited to walk through the smoke and place leaves on the fire for an individual cleansing.

In the evening, a workshop was held at the Corowa RSL Club which provided a general overview and introduction to the Bangerang people, their history and culture.

The group learnt of issues impacting Aboriginal people such as transgenerational trauma affects, racism and indirect racism, language, and cultural bias. The training rapped up with a discussion on strategies for engaging our Aboriginal community moving forward.

Federation Council Mayor Pat Bourke said he was pleased that RAP Working Group members had the opportunity to undertake Cultural Awareness Training in the initial stages of developing a Reconciliation Action Plan for council.

“The more knowledge and understanding council staff have, the better placed they will be to develop a strong and respectful RAP for our council area,” he said.

“Council looks forward to further developing a model that focuses on respectful behaviour with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues, residents, and people of all cultural backgrounds in our broader community.”

The Working Group will help guide the Federation Council through the development of an ‘Innovative’ RAP in accordance with the Reconciliation Australia process. The Working Group will meet as required and provide feedback and recommendations to council.

Every year, National Reconciliation Week is held from May 27 to June 3.

The National Reconciliation Week 2022 theme, “Be Brave. Make Change.” is a challenge to individuals, families, communities, organisations, and government—to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation.