The City has been recognised in the LGPro 2021 Awards for Excellence for its work in partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for last year’s NAIDOC Week events.
Awarded with the Indigenous Community Partnership Initiative award last week, the category celebrates an initiative or program that enriches the community and that has been implemented in conjunction with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
In delivering the 2020 NAIDOC Week program, the City partnered with 15 Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous organisations, including Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative, The Torch, Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group, Geelong Gallery among many others.
Mayor Stephanie Asher said this was a great recognition that celebrated the strength of the partnerships in crafting the 2020 program.
We are so proud to receive this accolade.
The award recognises the innovative thinking and strength of the partnerships with the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous organisations ensuring NAIDOC Week could go ahead amidst challenging circumstances.
Aboriginal Affairs portfolio holder Cr Jim Mason said the NAIDOC Week program was a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples spanning thousands of generations.
We’re very grateful to the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and all of our other partners for their partnership and willingness to invest their time and energy in order to help us create a respectful and touching celebration of NAIDOC Week in Geelong,” Cr Mason said.
Through our Reconciliation Action Plan, we will continue to promote better understanding and recognition, positive relationships, and equal opportunity for our First Nations communities.
Taking place from 8 to 15 November due to COVID-19 restrictions, the City’s 2020 NAIDOC week program included:
- A virtual tour of 20 significant locations on Wadawurrung Country developed with Wadawurrung Traditional Owner, Corrina Eccles;
- The annual projections at City Hall featuring artwork by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men on Wadawurrung Country, developed through The Torch and Department of Justice.
The program connects participants with their cultural identity while helping them to develop confidence and define new pathways; and
- 44 banners flown around the region featuring the ‘Country and Connection 2019’ artwork by artist and Wadawurrung Traditional Owner, Billy-Jay O’Toole.
Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation CEO, Paul Davis, said he was delighted to hear of the accolade for the 2020 program.
Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation was delighted to see the City of Greater Geelong win this award and partner with them in their 2020 NAIDOC Week program. It is great to see a Council that actually works closely with its local Traditional Owner group be recognised in this way.
The theme for NAIDOC week in 2020 was ‘Always was, Always will be’, which in Wadawurrung language is translated to ‘Yannan-ik Yannan-iyu’.
Building respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories by celebrating NAIDOC Week is a key action in the City’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan, which was adopted by Council in 2020 and outlines the City’s commitment to action.
The LGPro Awards for Excellence are the key awards for the Victorian local government sector and aim to promote and celebrate the outstanding work being undertaken and delivered by individuals and teams working in the sector in Victoria.