Water Minister Dave Kelly yesterday launched the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s (DWER) inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to promote greater cultural awareness and inclusion in the management of Western Australia’s water resources and environment.
The new ‘Innovate RAP 2019-21’ commits DWER to a series of actions over the next two years to enhance positive relationships with Indigenous communities. These actions include:
- Greater engagement, recognition and incorporation of Aboriginal knowledge in managing the State’s water resources and environment.
- Improving cultural awareness within the department
- Increasing employment and career opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
- Providing greater economic benefit to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through the State’s Indigenous Procurement Policy
DWER’s new offices at Prime House in Joondalup recognise Aboriginal culture with each meeting room named after an Aboriginal word related to water or the environment. Aboriginal artwork has also been commissioned as a statement piece for the main entry.
More information at: https://www.dwer.wa.gov.au/
As stated by Water Minister Dave Kelly:
“Working to achieve reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Western Australians is an important goal for the McGowan Government.
“I congratulate the department on its efforts to progress reconciliation. I look forward to seeing the knowledge of WA’s traditional custodians play a greater role in the management of our water resources and environment.
“Aboriginal people have looked after our country for tens of thousands of years. We have an opportunity to learn from their extensive experience in managing our water resources and environment.
“The State Government is seeking recognition of Aboriginal spiritual, social and cultural values as well as rights in legislation and policies that manage water resources and the environment.”
As stated by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
“Providing economic opportunities that allow communities to thrive is central for our Government and the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“Strengthening our relationships with Aboriginal people and communities will help protect and promote Aboriginal cultures, histories and lands, as well as provide opportunities for social and economic benefit.
“I welcome this plan by DWER which will work to deliver a positive result.”