Opinion: A statement to reconcile

Mayor Bim Lange

Mayor Bim Lange

What does Reconciliation Day mean to you? A series of local events to mark Reconciliation Week gave me cause to stop and think about what I know, and more importantly, what I don't know about our Indigenous heritage.

What I came to realise is that our Barossa Story is often an incomplete story.

As I continue my conversations in the community, I'm learning of the story of the traditional owners, the Peramangk, Ngadjuri and Kaurna People, and their remarkable connection with the Barossa landscape.

I strongly believe it's time to have more of these conversations, to take a deep dive into our aboriginal past and the real meaning of reconciliation.

A significant step forward will see Council consider embedding Reconciliation into our foundation policy statement, signalling our commitment to continue connecting with and understanding the First Peoples of the Barossa.

We can put these words into action by focusing on reconciliation programs and projects that genuinely support understanding, connection and retention of knowledge.

We are already doing great things in this space - the Barossa Bushgardens' Reconciliation Day event was both symbolic and educational; the Black Screen film event was funny, dramatic and insightful. As I grow in my understanding, I encourage others to do the same. It's never too late to ask questions, to be informed, or to reassess our point of view. We can all be champions for cultural awareness.

As the sun sets on the 2019 Reconciliation Week, it's important that we recognise all our historical, traditional and culture past as part of the Barossa story. That's the story I want to share.