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Innovate reconciliation action plan launched in Blue Mountains

Local Land Services launched its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with a ceremony in the Blue Mountains National Park yesterday.

About 70 people attended the event which included representatives from Reconciliation Australia and Local Land Services CEO David Witherdin.

Chair of the Local Land Services Board, Richard Bull, said the RAP was an important step in demonstrating Local Land Services’ commitment to improving reconciliation.

“The RAP clearly identifies ways to foster partnerships and relationships that focus on embracing diversity, enhancing respect and providing equitable opportunities for and with First Nations peoples across NSW,” Mr Bull said.

“As an organisation with nearly 1,000 staff operating from more than 90 locations throughout NSW we are well aware that we are working on and helping others to care for Country in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Whether it’s here in the home of the Gundungurra and Darug peoples, or anywhere throughout NSW, we recognise the unique, diverse and enduring cultures of our First Nations peoples which have enriched our lives.  We will continue to provide our staff with opportunities to learn about and embrace these important aspects of Australia’s past, present and future as we incorporate the Reconciliation Action Plan into Local Land Services day to day operations,” he said.

Today’s ceremony included a Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony and a cultural lunch featuring Aboriginal ingredients all provided by the Gundungurra Aboriginal Heritage Association.

The RAP boasts original artwork, created for Local Land Services by GIlimbaa artist, Rachael Sarra of the Goreng Goreng people, which shows the 11 Local Land Services regions connecting together, creating growth in their communities through collaboration.

The regions are depicted as connecting, growing and protecting our land, our communities and our culture to create generational change together.

Local Land Services Aboriginal Programs Coordinator, Amanda McCarthy, said more than 2,700 individuals and local Aboriginal groups were engaged through 57 consultations across NSW to help develop practical actions that build respectful relationships and create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people under the RAP.

“The journey my team and I have been on, the deadly people we have met and all the things that we have learned will stay with us forever. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this Reconciliation Action Plan. The insights, knowledge and wisdom imparted have helped to shape this plan and will continue to inform its implementation moving forward. From a personal perspective, I am grateful for the opportunity to work on something that I have always been passionate about and I look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead,” Ms McCarthy said.

The Local Land Services Board has endorsed the 2018-2020 RAP as a solid foundation for the organisation’s ongoing commitment to support local Aboriginal communities, organisations, programs, events and the adoption of respectful protocols.

This project is supported by Local Land Services, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and has been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.

ENDS

Media contact: Nikki McGrath, Communications Officer – 0448 953 755

View the Local Land Services Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.