Reconciliation in Brimbank

On 26 February 2008, in Brimbank, we adopted the full motion passed by the Federal Government on 13 February 2008 in saying sorry to the Stolen Generations on behalf of the Australian Parliament and people. We extended this apology to those Stolen Generations on behalf of our residents:

That today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations this blemished chapter in our nation’s history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.

For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.

And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.

For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians,

Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions of enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.

A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia.

Social Justice Charter

On 7 July 2008 as part of our NAIDOC Week celebrations we launched the Social Justice Charter.

Our Social Justice Charter clearly states that we uphold that every citizen of Brimbank is free and equal in dignity and rights, and is entitled to a quality of life that allows them to reach their potential.

We are committed to taking action in partnership with our community and other levels of government, to strive for social justice and address the social, economic, environmental and cultural determinants that cause disadvantage.

We acknowledge that the Indigenous Community suffers significant social and economic disadvantage – demonstrated by such indicators as:

  • Life expectancy - a Victorian Aboriginal man can expect to live 21 years less than a non-Aboriginal man. A Victorian Aboriginal woman can expect to live 18 years less than a non-Aboriginal woman
  • Labour Force Participation – Aboriginal people in the North West Metropolitan Region of Melbourne experience higher rates of unemployment than non-Aboriginal people
  • Income – Aboriginal households in the North West Metropolitan Region of Melbourne have lower incomes than non-Aboriginal households.

Reconciliation Statement of Commitment

View the Reconciliation Statement of Commitment which we endorsed on 17 April 2012 and was signed by Council Administrators Peter Lewinsky, Meredith Sussex, and Joanne Anderson and Wurundjeri elders Aunty Dianne Kerr, Uncle Perry Wandin, and Aunty Alice Kolasa – at a civic ceremony on 29 May 2012.

Western Regional Local Government Reconciliation Network

We are part of the Western Regional Local Government Reconciliation Network (WRLGRN). This network consists of eight local member councils, meeting bi-monthly to address needs and issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across our wider region.