Strengthening indigenous relationships

Article image - Strengthening indigenous relationships Councilís Aboriginal Community Development Officer Margaret Simoes, with CEO of Jerrinja LALC Alfred Wellington and Gordon Clark, Councilís Strategic Planning Manager

For its work in collaborating with the local Jerrinja people, Shoalhaven City Council in New South Wales received the Council Partnership of the Year award at the 2017 Local Government Aboriginal Network Awards.

Presented at the Albury Council Conference in October, the award is testament to the hard work, open communication and sensitivity Council has established with the Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council.

It is also recognition of the work the Land Council has put in to finalise its Community Land & Business Plan 2017-2021.

Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council established in 1983 under the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act, is located in the Jervis Bay region working from the former Roseby Park Aboriginal government reserve.

Council and Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council have strived to build stronger working relationships and partnerships to improve communications, liaisons and cultural understandings of the community’s history, experiences and identifiable needs.

Council in collaboration with Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council have engaged in a dynamic, unique and successful partnership through an agreed bi-monthly liaison meeting and consultative process that has proved beneficial for both parties.

The liaison meetings are opportunities to build and strengthen relationships, converse on current issues and collaboratively identify or negotiate resolutions.

The primary success of this process is that Council in collaboration with Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council have developed a strategic and cultural approach that is streamlined, transparent and respectful of Aboriginal community protocols.

Alfred Wellington, CEO of Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council stated, “Jerrinja has acknowledged and identified that Council have the knowledge and resources to assist in building community capacity.  

“These positive changes can and have been encouraged in the areas of employment, economic development, health and wellbeing, and protection of cultural heritage.”