Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reconciliation
The City of Greater Bendigo is located on the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung and the Taungurung Peoples of the Kulin Nation. They are the traditional custodians of this land.
The Dja Dja Wurrung are the Traditional Owners of a significant area of Central Victoria. Dja Dja Wurrung Country extends north from the Great Dividing Range including Mount Franklin and the towns of Creswick and Daylesford in the south east, to Castlemaine, Maldon and Bendigo, Boort and Donald in the north west, Rochester to the north east, and to Navarre Hill and Mount Avoca in the south west. It covers the catchments of Avoca, Loddon and Coliban Rivers.
The Taungurung are the Traditional Owner Group for the land encompassing the upper reaches of the Goulburn River and its tributaries north of the Dividing Range. It extends from the Campaspe River to Kilmore in the west, eastwards to Mount Beauty, through to Benalla in the north and south to the top of the Great Dividing Range.
The Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and the Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation are the Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) for the municipality and are the voice of Traditional Owners in the management and protection of cultural heritage.
Further information on the role and services of the local RAPs can be found at:
Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
1/70 Powells Avenue
Bendigo VIC 3552
Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
37 High Street
Broadford VIC 3658
Local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community
The City also recognises that there are many other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with links to different language and community groups across Australia who live and work in Greater Bendigo. At the 2016 Census, Greater Bendigo had a recorded total of 1,846 residents who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. This was an increase from 1,441 in the 2011 Census.
The City has a history of actively supporting local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Key initiatives have included the inclusion of Acknowledgement to Country protocols at Council and organisational meetings; flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags; and supporting the annual NAIDOC Week flag-raising and civic reception. We continue to work closely with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to advance reconciliation across the municipality.
Acknowledgement of Country
An Acknowledgement of Country is a protocol delivered at the opening of meetings, conferences, special events and official functions. It is a way for other people to acknowledge and pay respects to the Traditional Owners of the land on which they are speaking. Unlike a Welcome to Country, an Acknowledgement of Country can be given by any non-Aboriginal person or an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person who is not a Traditional Owner.
For example, at the City of Greater Bendigo the following wording is used:
I acknowledge that the City of Greater Bendigo is on Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Country.
I would like to acknowledge and extend my appreciation for the Dja Dja Wurrung* People, the Traditional Owners of the land that we are standing on today.
Today, we pay our respects to leaders and Elders past, present and emerging for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and the hopes of all Dja Dja Wurrung* Peoples.
We express our gratitude in the sharing of this land, our sorrow for the personal, spiritual and cultural costs of that sharing and our hope that we may walk forward together in harmony and in the spirt of healing.
*If you are delivering an Acknowledgement of Country on Taungurung Country, please refer to Taungurung People.
This wording would be appropriate within the City of Greater Bendigo, and is the City’s official Acknowledgement of Country. This new wording has been approved by the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporations as of May 2018.
City of Greater Bendigo Reconciliation Plan 2016-2019
The City of Greater Bendigo’s Reconciliation Plan 2016-2019 articulates our commitment to supporting the reconciliation process and to closing the gap of disadvantage between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. The Plan adopts a ‘whole of Council’ action planning framework, and builds on previous initiatives delivered by the City as part of its early reconciliation journey. The Reconciliation Plan Steering Committee oversees and monitors the Reconciliation Plan.
The City of Greater Bendigo Reconciliation Plan was developed following an extensive consultation process with the Traditional Owners and broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group, and internally across all City Service Units.
The Reconciliation Plan and its related actions support the City’s broader vision for reconciliation, this being:
- Adopting a holistic ‘whole-of-organisation’ approach.
- Strong healthy relationships between the City and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that support continued dialogue and informs decision making.
- Assuming a leadership role to drive reconciliation across the municipality.
- Implementing relevant and evidence-based actions, and ensuring accountability to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
- Increasing the cultural inclusion and participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within City functions, events and services.
The Reconciliation Plan 2016 – 2019 was endorsed by Council on June 29, 2016, and will be reviewed and evaluated in 2019.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols Guide 2018
The City of Greater Bendigo has developed an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols Guide to provide guidance to staff on engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Protocols Guide is a key activity of the City’s Reconciliation Plan 2016-2019. These protocols form part of a wider effort to make the City a more inclusive, welcoming and culturally safe environment, and to promoting respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Protocols Guide provides practical advice and information on the appropriate use of terminology when engaging with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and assists staff to understand the use of Welcome to Country, Acknowledgement of Country, Aboriginal Smoking, and other protocols when delivering programs and services within Greater Bendigo.
For further information, contact our Inclusive Communities Team on 5434 6000.
For more information please contact us on 03 5434 6000 or email [email protected]