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

Naracoorte Lucindale Council has branded itself as the heart of the Limestone coast and it would appear the heart has skipped a beat and does not reflect the spirit of the region in engaging First Nations people, increasing economic opportunities and engaging in tourism. South Australian Tourism Commission

Reconciliation SA are deeply disappointed the majority of elected members of the council have voted to replace their Acknowledgement to Country.

We see this as walking back progress and signaling a lack of understanding of the significant and important role of First Nations culture. Mayor Patrick Ross said “My belief is we need to keep all statements as simple as they need to be.”

When you remove Acknowledgements to Country and Elders you remove visibility and you diminish the importance of First Nations in our Country’s 65,000+ year history. We are the only country to lay claim to the world's oldest living culture.

For those unaware, Naracoorte is derived from First Nations language.

Mayor Hudson from Ballarat LGA in his comments after winning one of Australia’s Top Tourism Awards in 2023 said we have a “Rich in history dating back tens of thousands of years, our evolving culture has shaped the Ballarat of today”. Perhaps something for councilors to think about when it comes to economic prosperity into the future. I am curious how UNESCO feel given the caves are listed as a world Heritage site and the governing local body have made the decision to erase First Nations from their acknowledgments.

In the Councils own wellbeing plan the Vision is “All Naracoorte Lucindale Council residents are supported to enjoy good physical, social and mental health and wellbeing.” Removing Acknowledgments is at odds with the Vision, better engagement with and support to First Nations people. The elected members have now set a forward plan for division based on lack of awareness and understanding of Acknowledging Country. Erasing the existence of a culture to keep things simple is not a good position for a region that relies on Tourism nor a reflection on global awareness and embracing of the ESG framework for future investment and growth.

When individual ideology impacts on a community’s future and business growth there is cause for concern.

We support all our Allies and First Nations people and will continue to challenge the ongoing demise of First Nations position in South Australia.

Reconciliation SA extends its hand to the elected members and council staff for a workshop to provide context, advice and perspective on the importance, relevance and need to embrace the rich cultural history of our country. Clinton Jury GAICDBruce HammondSouth Australian Native Title Services Trevor Smart

Jason@reconciliationsa.org.au

Post by Team Writer
March 1, 2024

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