Reconciliation Action Plan
In February 2018, Council resolved to commence formal discussions with relevant organisation representatives and the Circle of Elders to achieve an outcome on Aboriginal recognition and to develop a Reconciliation Plan for the district. The first step was for Councillors and Shire Staff to attend Cultural Awareness Training to ensure all involved in the development of the Shire's Reconciliation Action Plan would have a clear understanding of our traditional land owners in the Esperance community. This training was completed in November 2018. In March 2019, a workshop was held with representatives from the Shire of Esperance, Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation and local Nyungar Elders to identify key community aspirations for reconciliation.
A Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) has been drafted following the Circle of Elders workshop and discussions with Reconciliation Australia. This draft RAP was created utilising the standard template provided by Reconciliation Australia and includes the aspirations provided from the locally held workshop.The draft RAP was endorsed by Council at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 28 May 2019 and was then submitted for endorsement by Reconciliation Australia. The final RAP was endorsed at the Ordinary Council Meeting 24 September 2019 and included some minor changes to the initial draft following endorsement of the RAP by Reconciliation Australia.
A Reflect RAP clearly sets out the steps required to prepare for reconciliation initiatives in successive RAPs. This will allow the Shire of Esperance to spend time scoping and developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, deciding on our vision for reconciliation and exploring our sphere of influence, prior to committing to specific actions or initiatives. As a result, this process will assist the Shire of Esperance in producing future Reconciliation Action Plans that are meaningful, mutually beneficial and sustainable.
The Shire of Esperance has been granted an extension of our Reconciliation Action Plan until February 2021 in light of COVID-19.