Reconciliation Action Plan

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Kempsey Shire Council is proudly taking steps on our journey towards reconciliation.

In developing our Reconciliation Action Plan 2022-23(PDF, 2MB) we are announcing our commitment to reconciliation and the importance it holds in celebrating our proud Thunggutti/Dunghutti culture and heritage.

What is reconciliation?

At its heart, reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.

According to Reconciliation Australia, the five dimensions of reconciliation are:

Race relations

All Australians understand and value Aboriginal and  Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous cultures, rights and experiences, which results in stronger relationships based on trust and respect and that are free of racism.

Equality and equity

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples participate equally in a range of life opportunities and the unique rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are recognised and upheld.

Institutional integrity

The active support of reconciliation by the nation’s political, business and community structures.


An Australian society that values and recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritage as a proud part of a shared national identity.

Historical acceptance

All Australians understand and accept the wrongs of the past and their impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Australia makes amends for past policies and practices and ensures these wrongs are never repeated.

What is Council's Reconciliation Action Plan about?

As an organisation, Kempsey Shire Council is committed to increasing understanding, respect and relationships with Aboriginal communities across the Macleay Valley.

We believe that reconciliation is everybody’s business, and our vision is that all staff and representatives of our organisation will deliver inclusive and culturally appropriate services that uphold our corporate values.

Adopted at the 17 May Council meeting, our Reflect-level Reconciliation Action Plan sets out:

  • the actions Council will take to deliver inclusive and culturally appropriate services
  • the steps Council will take to prepare for reconciliation initiatives in successive plans.

How did we create our Reconciliation Action Plan?

Council undertook many engagement activities to seek input and feedback from the Kempsey Shire community and Council staff on reconciliation.

  • We established an Internal Reconciliation Working Group at Council that included representation from interested Aboriginal staff.
  • On the Your Say Macleay website, we asked for community feedback on the key themes that people wanted to see in the plan.
  • We engaged with the community on our draft plan over a 12-week period and ran an online survey inviting community feedback.
  • We spoke with key community groups, interagency networks and stakeholders, the Elders Council and both land councils. Council staff also visited Aboriginal communities on a number of occasions to have informal conversations and build relationships.

What are the key themes?

Four themes emerged from our engagement with the Macleay Valley community on reconciliation.


The community would like to see Council staff actively building positive working relationships with local Aboriginal communities and see staff from across the organisation get involved in reconciliation activities.


It was identified that, to build respect, greater knowledge of local history and culture needs to be shared with Council staff.


There was support for an increase in the percentage of Aboriginal identified staff employed by Council.


Priorities included engaging Council’s senior leaders in reconciliation activities and establishing a Reconciliation Working Group with Aboriginal representation.

The Reconciliation Action Plan sets out the actions Council will take under each of these themes. These actions are listed on page 24 of the Reconciliation Action Plan(PDF, 2MB)