Greater Dandenong City Council acknowledges and pays respects to the Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation, as the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters now named City of Greater Dandenong.
We value and recognise local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, heritage, and connection to land as a proud part of a shared identity for Greater Dandenong. Council pays respect to Elders past and present and recognises their importance in maintaining knowledge, traditions, and culture in our community.
Greater Dandenong City Council also respectfully acknowledges the Bunurong Land Council as the Registered Aboriginal Party responsible for managing the Aboriginal cultural heritage of the land and waters where Greater Dandenong is situated.
Greater Dandenong is committed to:
- Respectfully engaging and being led by the Traditional Owners, the Bunurong people, via consultation and partnership
- Respecting Aboriginal sites, objects, places and traditions
- Walking together in reconciliation and assisting with the education of the broader community about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture of the municipality and region
Statement of Commitment
In July 1995, the City of Greater Dandenong signed a Statement of Commitment acknowledging the Aboriginal people as the first people of this land.
The statement committed Council to working with the community on a range of issues to increase the awareness of the wider community and to work for the elimination of racism and discrimination.
The City of Greater Dandenong has always been and will continue to be proactive in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters and is proud to be seen as a leader in this field.
Reconciliation Action Plan January 2021 - December 2023
The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) embodies Council’s commitment to advance the process of reconciliation and strives to embed reconciliation across policy, business and community structures.
This includes: creating meaningful partnerships that empower and embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ involvement and leadership in decision-making; promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and experiences, free of racism and discrimination; equitable employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and improving the health and wellbeing of Australia’s First Peoples who live in, work in, and contribute to the Greater Dandenong community.
This Plan outlines a clear way forward – for both Council and the broader Greater Dandenong community to positively contribute to reconciliation.
The Reconciliation Action Plan has been developed in consultation with Bunurong Land Council, and the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and has been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.
Greater Dandenong’s previous Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2017-2019 included a deliverable action number 8.5 to ‘investigate the feasibility and opportunity for meeting and cultural spaces as a place for community learning, exploring heritage and culture, and for community harmony’.
In December 2021, Karabena Consulting, a fully Indigenous-owned consultancy business was awarded the tender contract and the consultant’s report (City of Greater Dandenong First Nations Community Space Feasibility Report) was subsequently completed in June 2022.
Karabena Consulting acknowledges in the report the challenges of conducting the study during the ongoing social and economic impacts of the 2019-2020 Victorian bushfires, the COVID-19 pandemic, and resulting consultation fatigue following the slow reopening of Melbourne following the extended lockdown.
Effective from 1 July 2021 Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (BLCAC) were formally recognised as Traditional Owners of the lands subscribed within the municipal boundaries of Greater Dandenong. BLCAC representatives have subsequently reviewed the feasibility report and noted that it was based on a limited pool of respondents and as such its recommendations have limited value for implementation.