City of Bayswater to create Aboriginal Advisory Committee to drive reconciliation

stock image.
stock image.

A RECONCILIATION action plan for the City of Bayswater is one step closer after the council approved the terms of reference for an Aboriginal Advisory Committee this week.

Bayswater Council unanimously approved the draft terms of reference for the Aboriginal Advisory Committee and would now seek expressions of interest from community members and spend $50,000 creating a reconciliation action plan.

The committee would include City officers, councillors and up to five community members who were Aboriginal, worked with Aboriginal people professionally or community members interested in reconciliation.

Originally put forward by Cr Dan Bull in May last year, the plan could include initiatives like cultural awareness training for staff, increasing levels of Aboriginal employment in the City, and ensuring City services and programs were accessible and inclusive for Aboriginal people.

Cr Chris Cornish said the City should look at what other local governments had done with reconciliation plans and not necessarily “redesign the wheel”.

Deputy Mayor Stephanie Coates said she was supportive of the committee’s formation and said the City could look at developing something similar for culturally and linguistically diverse people.

The City of Bayswater has a population of 61,262 according to the 2011 Census and 798 people, or 1.3 per cent of the population, identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

The cities of Vincent, Stirling, Perth and Mandurah have a dedicated staff member covering the Aboriginal portfolio, Bayswater currently does not.