Earlier this month the Inner West council unanimously voted to put a draft Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) up for public exhibition. The Reconciliation Action Plan will aid in local execution of the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’, which is designed to create constitutional change that will grant First Nations peoples a permanent voice in Australian parliament.
The Reconciliation Action Plan includes numerous projects designed to help Aboriginal communities within the Inner West area and instigate progress for reconciliation.
The plan proposes to implement the creation of a “community hub” which will serve as a permanent gathering space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Additionally, initiatives also include the creation of three “Survival Memorials”, the first of which is set to be constructed in Ashfield this year.
An estimated $600 000 is allocated for the development of the Survival Memorials.
Deborah Lennis, Inner West Council Aboriginal Programs Supervisor, said to CityHub that the memorials are “a wise investment.” Acting as cultural advisor to Inner West Council CEO, Lennis backed the arts funding for the RAP, stating that “during covid, businesses have been supported but the arts and creatives were left behind.”
Connecting Creativity and Reconciliation
Deborah Lennis. Photo: Facebook
Lennis expressed hope that by erecting these sculptures, it would inspire more creativity and passion within the First Nations community and would foster progress in reconciliation efforts.
Lennis explained that the decision for the RAP to include memorials was generated “through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community consultation and feedback.”
“It was decided to have a survival memorial… [to tell] the story about our survival and our continuing survival to this day.”
The proposals on the RAP draft are to be put under public advisement, and will be resubmitted to the Council.