On 15 December 2022, Banyule Community Health launched an Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in a moving celebration of culture at its West Heidelberg site. Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Zeta Thomson led a moving smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country on a cold December day. Aunty Zeta stressed the importance of connection to country, celebrating ceremony, and the deep impact of colonisation.
The RAP was developed under the guidance of Karen Milward (Yorta Yorta Woman / Aboriginal Consultant), and a Steering Committee of staff, partners, and community members. The RAP builds on many years of commitment to our First Nations community members and solidifies commitments in line with Reconciliation Australia. We join Reconciliation Australia and thousands of other organisations who are activating reconciliation through a Reconciliation Action Plan.
The RAP was developed over the past 18 months through Covid times with a commitment to deep listening. At times the process was confronting and addressed challenging issues. This was necessary to ensure the RAP meets community needs and the requirements of Reconciliation Australia. We consulted widely with Elders, local schools, clients, and the Djilak Djirri Playgroup members to make sure our RAP is meaningful and achievable.
“We are indebted to the generosity provided to us by leaders, Elders, and the local community as we search for a process of truth and reconciliation. What an incredible opportunity we have right now to embrace our true history in this country.”