Cultural awareness guide

Article image - Cultural awareness guide A respectful approach to Aboriginal culture is vital for an inclusive community. Photograph courtesy Coffs Harbour City Council.

Coffs Harbour City Council, New South Wales, has adopted an Aboriginal Cultural Awareness and Engagement Guide, to assist councillors, staff and volunteers to provide a consistent and respectful approach to engaging with the Aboriginal community.

Mayor, Denise Knight, said, “It’s vital in an inclusive community that we learn as much as we can about each other’s cultures so that we can better understand the different ways we view the world.

“I believe and hope that this new Guide will help us do exactly that.”
Yandaarra – Shifting Camp Together advocates a collaborative approach towards the protection of Aboriginal culture in the local government area and helps provide social and cultural understanding by acknowledging and celebrating Aboriginal perspectives and world views.

The guide was developed by Murawin Consulting, Gumbaynggirr consultants Carol Vale and Matthew Hammond. Consultations were undertaken by Murawin with local Aboriginal Elders, community members and Aboriginal organisations, the Yandaarra Aboriginal Advisory Committee and council staff.

The Guide outlines useful information that will be used in future when consulting and working with local Aboriginal communities including:

  • the Gumbaynggirr nation and Aboriginal identity
  • significant ceremonies, dates and events
  • cultural practices and considerations (including Welcome to Country and Acknowledgements)
  • community engagement protocols.