Aboriginal reconciliation and celebration of diversity
The City of Greater Bendigo has a Reconciliation Plan to guide how it leads the community to support Aboriginal reconciliation.
The first Reconciliation Plan focused on building strong relationships with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and increasing participation in our programs and services. The second, and current, Reconciliation Plan focuses on increasing employment opportunities, ensuring programs and services are culturally safe, improving health and wellbeing outcomes, and increasing the visibility of Aboriginal culture in the community.
The City developed its first Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan in 2016. The goals of the plan include building understanding and respect for cultural and religious differences and ensuring residents from culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse backgrounds have equal opportunities to access services and participate fully in the Greater Bendigo community.
In 2020 the City became the first local government in Australia to be accredited as a Welcoming City by the Welcoming Cities Network. A process to evaluate the current Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan and develop a new plan for the next four years is currently underway.
In recent community consultation, residents said they valued:
- Seeing more examples of Aboriginal culture and history across Greater Bendigo
- Better job opportunities, procurement and improved economic outcomes for Aboriginal people
- Aboriginal families and children being supported to connect to their culture
- Increasing community understanding of the cultural practices and values of Traditional Owners
- Seeing the goals of Traditional Owners reflected in long-term plans for Greater Bendigo
- Working together to meet the needs of refugees and people seeking asylum
- Working together to build a welcoming city by addressing racism
These City of Greater Bendigo strategies aim to support Aboriginal reconciliation and celebration of diversity in our community:
- Barpangu (Build Together) – Reconciliation Plan
- Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan
- Greater CREATIVE Bendigo
- Reimaging Bendigo Creek
The City is also promoting Aboriginal culture through Bendigo becoming a UNESCO City of Gastronomy.