City of Stirling to consider replacing opening prayer with acknowledgement of country and affirmation

City of Stirling to consider replacing opening prayer with acknowledgement of country and affirmation

A CITY of Stirling councillor wants an acknowledgement of country for First Nations people in WA to open all council meetings and replace the opening prayer with an affirmation.

Councillor Samantha Jenkinson said a change would accurately reflect the City’s Reconciliation Action Plan and its multi-faith community.

“The 2016 Census showed that Australia is a multi-faith community with 30 per cent of people citing ‘no religion’,” she said.

“Changing the opening prayer to an affirmation better represents the potential mix of councillors and the community while maintaining the intent to set the tone of the meeting as one of honesty, respect and understanding.”

Cr Jenkinson said the change would still include the current opening prayer wording and intent but instead of a prayer it would be an affirmation and welcome to country.

Council will consider the option at its next ordinary council meeting on September 26.

What the prayer might be replaced with:

‘As Councillors of the City of Stirling, we acknowledge the Noongar people whose land we are meeting on, and pay respect to their elders past, present and emerging.

We affirm that we come into this meeting with a commitment to show goodness, honesty, understanding and wisdom, and to respect each other’s views at all times.’

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