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Mayor's Message - 31 May

Mayor's Message - 31 May

Tuesday 31 May 2022
Cr Michael Whelan

In just the first week as the new Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese has made it clear that Indigenous affairs reform is high on his government’s agenda. You will already see that all Australian official flags now take the stage behind the Prime Minister. He has committed to progressing the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full. The Uluru Statement from the Heart was first presented in 2017 and has three key objectives: a Voice to Parliament, Treaty and Truth. As part of this process, First Nations voice will be enshrined in our constitution for the first time in history. Here at Bass Coast, we are supportive of any steps that are taken towards reconciliation and are committed to building strong and meaningful relationships with the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work. In recognition of this, we are currently developing our first Reconciliation Action Plan in collaboration with our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and Reconciliation Australia. This Plan will incorporate the principles of healing, education, empowerment and collaboration so as to provide a culturally appropriate and safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in the Bass Coast Shire.

National Reconciliation Week is on from 27 May to 3 June. Due to bad weather, the Bass Coast Reconciliation Network celebration that was planned for today (Tuesday, 31 May) has been postponed until NAIDOC Week in July.

We were really pleased to celebrate with 45 of Bass Coast residents who were officially made Australian Citizens at a ceremony held in Wonthaggi last week. Many of the people we celebrate at these ceremonies have been living in the Bass Coast region for many years. But the ceremonies also give us the opportunity to formally welcome them to not only citizenship, but also to our local community. In Bass Coast, we are always aiming to make our patch a better place to live, work and play and we are lucky to be able to live somewhere with such a fantastic and diverse community. Each new citizen received a wonderful hamper of local produce as part of the official ceremony. It was also great to hear from Bass Coast Citizen of the Year, Carol Blair at the event.