Yarra Council takes stand against racism and injustice Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community face

19 August 2020

Last night Yarra Councillors renewed their commitment to preventing racism and injustice faced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Yarra Councillors unanimously resolved to commission local Aboriginal artists to produce an arts project for the city.

“This art will acknowledge the ongoing and long-term struggles the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community face, particularly in regards to racism and injustice.

This is happening to people in Yarra,” said Yarra’s Mayor Cr Misha Coleman.

Cr Coleman said the project will help maintain momentum and community engagement with the Black Lives Matters movement, and its connection to Yarra’s Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

“Yarra has a proud Aboriginal history. We’re committed to advocating for broader understandings of Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community experiences, issues and stories,” Cr Coleman said.

“Part of the role of Local Government is to advocate for the issues facing our residents to other communities and other levels of government.

“Preventing racism can’t be done without fostering a greater understanding, and arts and cultural activities are one way to promote cross-cultural understanding,” Cr Coleman said.

“We’ll continue to help the wider community understand the historical and cultural significance and contribution of our Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a connection to Yarra have been working closely with Yarra Council through the Yana Ngarna Advisory Group and the Black Lives Matter working group. This resolution was a recommendation of both groups.

11.3 – COUNCIL RESOLUTION

Moved: Councillor Bosler Seconded: Councillor O’Brien

1. That Council:

(a) endorses the commencement of the Poster Project to promote the local voices of the community in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement;

(b) authorises officers to find new avenues and partnerships to promote and expand the reach of the Poster Project as an ongoing campaign;

(c) acknowledges the project is being led by Yana Ngargna Advisory Group and Yarra Black Lives Matter Working Group, and thanks them for their work here;

(d) request relevant officers to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists as well as local painters, printing studios and businesses for the delivery of the Poster Project; and

(e) notes further reports are scheduled to be presented to Council arising from the resolution on the Black Lives Matter movement of the Yarra Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander community.

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

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