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Reconciliation South Australia
Chief Executive Officer – Jason Downs
Jason@reconciliationsa.org.au
30-11-2023

Northern Areas Council's decision to scrap Acknowledgment to Country statements draws 
disappointment from Reconciliation South Australia. 

Reconciliation SA expresses profound disappointment in the recent decision by Northern Areas Council to discontinue the practice of acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land. This move, which eliminates Acknowledgment to Country statements, raises concerns about the commitment to reconciliation and respect for Aboriginal cultures in our community. The Northern Areas Council is connected to Nukunu and Ngadjuri lands.

Northern Areas Council's Vision is “a region of safe, sustainable and inclusive communities. A Community proud of its heritage and encouraged by a promising future. A place to enjoy a rural lifestyle, where business is encouraged to grow and visitors are welcomed”. The recent announcement is at odds with this sentiment and the council’s own vision. 

Acknowledgment to Country statements are a vital component of fostering understanding, respect, and unity among all members of our community. These statements not only pay tribute to the rich cultural heritage of the First Nations people but also serve as a tangible commitment to reconciliation efforts. Removing these statements from official events diminishes the opportunity for meaningful engagement and dialogue around the importance of reconciliation and the ongoing contributions of Aboriginal Australians.

Reconciliation SA recognises the importance of creating an inclusive and culturally respectful environment. Acknowledging traditional custodians is a simple yet powerful gesture that fosters a sense of belonging and recognizes the historical and ongoing connection of Aboriginal peoples to the land.

We urge the Northern Areas Council to reconsider this decision and reinstate the practice of Acknowledgment to Country statements. We encourage open dialogue between the Council and the community to create understanding and a more inclusive and culturally sensitive approach.

Reconciliation SA also urges all local government organisations to reflect on the LGA Reconciliation Action Plan noting “The LGA is uniquely placed to influence our sector and lead by example. We believe reconciliation and the inclusivity of First Nations people in the local government sector and decision making provides opportunities for us to come together and build stronger communities”. 

Reconciliation SA is committed to advocating for reconciliation, understanding, and respect for the diverse cultures that make up our community. We believe that acknowledging traditional custodians is a small but significant step towards building a more inclusive and harmonious society.

LGA Reconciliation Action Plan.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:
Jason Downs

Jason@reconciliationsa.org.au

Post by Team Writer
November 30, 2023

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