THE Bega Valley Shire Council and three local Aboriginal Land Councils (ALC) signed their third memorandum of understanding (MoU) this week.
Ben Cruse from the Eden ALC, Lorraine Naylor of Merrimans ALC and Graham Moore of Bega ALC signed the MoU with Mayor Bill Taylor and general manager Leanne Barnes in the Bega Valley Regional Gallery.
Through the MoU all parties commit to working together to improve the social and economic outcomes for Aboriginal people in the Bega Valley Shire.
Cr Taylor said the original MoU had evolved as an acknowledgement of Council Sorry Day in 2000 as a form of recognition of all the people of the shire.
“The whole concept of recognition is not about where people came from, but where we are going together,” Cr Taylor said.
“It’s all about the cooperative way we evolve as a community – we are all in this together and it’s the future that holds our attention.”
Mr Cruse congratulated and thanked BVSC for being the first council in Australia to enter such an agreement with an ALC.
He said his memories went back to the 1960s when there was a lot of racism, but things had improved since then when the first steps were taken towards reconciliation.
Mr Moore said the MoU acknowledged the community was working together for reconciliation and moving forward in a very positive way.
“This is a work in progress acknowledging the importance of reconciliation,” he said.
Ms Barnes said it was important the outcomes of the agreement were real and achievable for the BVSC and the land councils.
“This MoU continues to focus on real goals and achievable solutions, which can only result in positive outcomes for the entire community,” she said.