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Bass Coast takes another step towards reconciliation

Bass Coast takes another step towards reconciliation

Published:
Friday 15 January 2021
Mayor, Patrice Mahoney and Acting CEO

Bass Coast Shire Council is committed to reconciliation and is currently developing its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

The RAP provides a framework for Council to support the national reconciliation movement and will drive the organisation’s contribution to reconciliation, both internally and within the community. This awareness and support will help build recognition and strategic partnerships and will provide new learnings, focussed on Bass Coast’s culturally diverse community.

A significant step in the continued development of the RAP is the appointment of Patrice Mahoney OAM to the role of Aboriginal Development Officer.

Patrice will be continuing Council’s progress in reconciliation, following the important strategic achievements over recent months with Aunty Dr Doseena Fergie OAM, whose role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategic Advisor is shared across Council and Bass Coast Health.

Over recent months, Council staff have been introduced to a Cultural Capability Training Program, which was conducted online and completed by approximately 350 staff. This training was a major step in creating greater Council staff awareness of our First Nations Peoples, with further cultural training opportunities to follow.

Patrice is well known to the Bass Coast community and was recognised for her contribution of ‘Service to the Aboriginal Community of Victoria’, receiving an Order of Australia (OAM) in 2020. Patrice’s previous work has been instrumental in bringing the community together through community events, cultural activities and her contribution to the arts for over 20 years.

Bass Coast Shire CEO, Ali Wastie, was thrilled to welcome Patrice to this incredibly important role.

“Having someone of Patrice’s standing in this role and continuing the development of Council’s first RAP is really exciting,” Ms Wastie said.

“We really look forward to seeing a greater link between Council and our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and making major steps towards reconciliation.”

Patrice said her focus for the coming year will be to build strong links between community and Council and further develop relationships with key stakeholders, while deciding on our vision for reconciliation.

“I have this opportunity in my new role at Council to continue to develop the Reconciliation Action Plan and build healthier relationships between Council, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and key stakeholders,” Patrice said.

“I’m really looking forward to the new role and working at Council and with our diverse community.”