Coorong council launches reconciliation plan at Ngarrindjeri Ruwe exhibition opening
The plan, announced during National Reconciliation Week, will provide a framework for the council to promote the region’s diversity.
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The Coorong council has celebrated National Reconciliation Week with the opening of Ngarrindjeri Ruwe, an art exhibition, at the Coorong Gallery.
A commissioned artwork, The Art of Reconcilation by Ngarrindjeri artist Summer Dawn, was unveiled and Ngarrindjeri dancers Rita and Michael Lindsay performed.
The council also announced its first reconciliation action plan (RAP).
Council CEO Bridget Mather explained the plan’s objective.
“Developed in spirit of reconciliation and acknowledgement of traditional land, the RAP is our formal statement to reconciliation,” she said.
“(It) will assist with embedding the principles and purposes of reconciliation within our council.”
Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation CEO Tim Hartman said that, to him, “reconciliation means re-framing the relationship” with the wider community.
“As Ngarrindjeri or First Nations people … it’s about how can we have a meaningful, true relationship … with the non-Aboriginal people of Australia,” Mr Hartman asked.
“My grandparents … weren’t allowed to actively participate in the broader Australian dream.
“During those times, they didn’t have the same rights, interests or opportunities, so we didn’t have a shared future or vision.
“It’s about strengthening that relationship, identifying the history and acknowledging it but having a clear vision on … how we can elevate the First Nations people … so they’ve got the same opportunities.”
The council’s senior community and tourism development officer, Kelly Jaensch, said all Australians could contribute to reconciliation.
“This year’s theme is ‘Be Brave, Make Change’, and I’d like (people) to think about how … together we can make that happen,” she said.
“National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn how they share histories, cultures and achievements.”
Community members will be able to view the art at the Coorong Gallery, to the rear of the Tailem Bend council office, until July 22.