Council drives message of reconciliation across Redlands Coast

Redland City Council is driving its reconciliation message throughout Redlands Coast via a library van sporting an Indigenous artwork.

The wrap artwork, Kanara Malara – One People painted by Quandamooka artist Joshua Walker, forms the visual centrepiece of Council’s internal Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which was launched in August last year.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council was strongly committed to reconciliation both within the organisation and across Redlands Coast.

“The RAP is our first formal internal document setting in place a vision and set of principles to guide us in our reconciliation efforts for the next two years,” she said.

“Importantly it sets realistic actions and gives us timeframes on which to benchmark our achievements.”

Council’s Indigenous Partnerships and Programs Coordinator Brett Nutley, Mayor Karen Williams and CEO Andrew Chesterman.

Cr Williams said the van travelled about 22,000km each year moving the library collection between branches and making home library deliveries to senior residents.

“The wrap on the van is a beautiful reproduction of Joshua Walker’s painting which tells a story of coming together, shared empathy, open discussion, commitment and moving forward,” Cr Williams said.

“We hope that as this vehicle makes its way across Redlands Coast it will spark interest and start conversations around reconciliation.”

Council has also renamed 10 of its meeting rooms to include Jandai dialect. For example, the Peel Room is now called the Teerk Roo Ra – Peel Island room.

“Every step we take, from the Quandamooka Statement of Recognition outside our Cleveland chambers to the ongoing delivery, or sponsorship, of community events moves us further in our reconciliation process,” Cr Williams said.

“Through our RAP we are focussed on better informing our employees of the strong spiritual and cultural connection to the lands, and growing the awareness and knowledge of our Quandamooka People in particular and more generally Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture.

“We see this as a stepping stone to future reconciliation action plans, setting in place a framework for broader external reconciliation activities.”