An indigenous awareness initiative undertaken with the Wurundjeri people and local community has earned Yarra Ranges Council the 2020 LGPro Award for Excellence – Indigenous Community Partnership Initiative.
The award recognises an initiative or program undertaken in conjunction with the Indigenous community that has helped to enrich a community or municipality through an effective or innovative approach.
The Indigenous Heritage Visibility Project was created to increase awareness and visibility of the Indigenous history of Yarra Ranges’ bushland reserves. The municipality has a rich Indigenous culture and heritage, being Wurundjeri tribe Country, who speak the traditional Woiwurrung language.
This project aims to increase awareness of this living culture via interpretive signs, art installations, Indigenous food gardens and visual media.
Now into its fourth year, the project has already resulted in installations of signs and art in five council bushland reserves with a further four in progress.
The project has strengthened ties with the Traditional Owners of this land and overall engagement and trust with the Indigenous community. This project could easily be rolled out to other councils to encourage a respectful, cultural, heritage and historical, knowledge sharing story of their local area.
The annual LGPro Awards for Excellence recognise and celebrate the outstanding projects and initiatives being delivered by Councils across Victoria. Now in their 16th year, they are the key awards for the local government sector. Almost 100 nominations were received across 10 categories this year.
LGPro president, Liana Thompson who is CEO at Northern Grampians Shire Council, congratulated Yarra Ranges on their award. She said councils play an important role in their communities and projects like this demonstrate the exceptional work councils are doing each and every day.
“Our excellence awards not only highlight local government’s innovation, ingenuity and commitment to their communities, but provide the opportunity to showcase and share bright ideas and celebrate the talent of the people within our sector,” she said.
“The truly fantastic thing about the awards is that the people who nominate agree to share their learnings with the sector, enabling others to pick up and implement a project or learning without having to invest the time and brainpower to develop something from scratch.
“It is this ethos of sharing that will help transform our sector and enable even smaller, less resourced councils to develop and flourish.”