Indigenous artwork


Have your say on Council’s new Reconciliation Action Plan

Published: 22 Nov 2022 10:58am

The Wagga Wagga community is being encouraged to take the time to read Council’s draft Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2022 – 2024, which provides a strategic framework of priorities and actions for Council for the next two years.

At its Ordinary Meeting last night, Council endorsed placing the draft document on public exhibition for 28 days, with submissions open until 21 December 2022.

Draft Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2022 – 2024

Director Community Janice Summerhayes said the Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2022 – 2024 reflects some of the actions already taken by Council in its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and looks at what it will strengthen going forward.

“Over the years, we have been developing and nurturing a strong relationship with our Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri and First Nations people and this second RAP is a commitment to that progress,” Ms Summerhayes said.

“The document was developed with the guidance and knowledge of the Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri and First Nations Elders and peoples, including a working group with First Nations representatives and Council staff.

“It is important that Council shows leadership in demonstrating inclusive practice for all our community members and that we take this guidance from those who are the knowledge keepers, being our Wiradjuri and other First Nations Elders.

“We also thank Reconciliation Australia for its commitment and guidance to us on this journey.”

The RAP includes messages from our local Wiradjuri Elders describing their stories, and providing deeper insight into Wagga Wagga’s history.

Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri artwork
CREATIVE FAMILY: The Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2022 – 2024 features artworks created by four Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri siblings, Taniesha Fonua, 15, Tyler Fonua,13, Teana Fonua, 11, and Tevita Fonua, 9. The artworks were submitted as part of an EOI process and selected by a panel, which included Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri Elders and Council staff.

It also takes strong guidance on how Council reflects the Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri language in its strategic documents and Acknowledgement of Country.

Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri and First Nations Elder Aunty Cheryl Penrith was part of the Reconciliation Action Plan working group.

“Council’s RAP reflects the relationship that is strengthening between the Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri and First Nations community and Council,” Aunty Cheryl Penrith said.

“The consultation that has occurred in the development of this RAP demonstrates Council’s commitment to reconciliation to empower our local Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri and First Nations community here in Wagga.”

Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri Elder Aunty Mary Atkinson and Council’s Director Community Janice Summerhayes standing in front of the Sorry Day Rock
SIDE-BY-SIDE: Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri Elder Aunty Mary Atkinson and Council’s Director Community Janice Summerhayes come together to put the community’s focus on the draft Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2022 – 2024, which is now on public exhibition. They are pictured holding original artworks by four young Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri siblings, which feature in the RAP.

The document will guide how Council continues its reconciliation journey with our local First Nations community and the wider community of Wagga Wagga.

There are four key areas for the draft Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2022 – 2024: relationships, respect, opportunities, and governance.

“One of the key deliverables is developing and implementing an employment and retention strategy for First Nations peoples,” Ms Summerhayes said.

“This would apply across all industry disciplines of Council, from planning and public health, to community services and outdoor work staff.

“As an example of our commitment to cultural inclusivity, Council has joined with the State Government to be part of the NSW Public Health trainee program. We will be appointing a First Nations public health officer and will support them to obtain their full university qualifications whilst on the job working in this important field.”

Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri artwork

The public exhibition and submission period for the draft RAPruns from 23 November to 21 December 2022, providing further opportunity for First Nations people and the wider community to provide their feedback.

The document will also be sent to Reconciliation Australia for final feedback during the public exhibition period.

To read the document and make a submission, visit