Our Aboriginal community
Cardinia Shire is located on the traditional lands of the Bunurong/Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.
The shire has 2 Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs), the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, decided upon by the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council of Victoria.
Council respects and seeks advice from the Traditional Owner groups active in our area:
- Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
- Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation
We acknowledge the historic and continuing link of the Aboriginal people to the land through our Reconciliation Action Plan and via the Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners delivered at civic events.
Acknowledgment of Country statements
An Acknowledgement of Country is an opportunity for anyone to show respect for Traditional Owners and their continuing contribution and connection to Country. It can be given by both non-Indigenous and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
It's important to note that unlike an Acknowledgement of Country, a formal ‘Welcome to Country’ can only be delivered by the original custodians of the land where the meeting or event is taking place. This can be organised with either the Bunurong Land Council or the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Council.
Depending on the land the acknowledgement is taking place on, you should recognise the appropriate Registered Aboriginal Party in the acknowledgement. To check which Registered Aboriginal Party presides in the location you're in, refer to the online map on the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council website
Acknowledgment of Country statements
Place specific acknowledgement
A variation on the above can recognise both Traditional Owners of Cardinia Shire. Council meetings are an example of where this may be applied.
“I would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the lands of Cardinia Shire, the Bunurong and Wurundjeri people, and pay my respects to their Elders, both past and present.”
“I would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the lands I am joining you from, the (Bunurong or Wurundjeri) people, along with the traditional custodians of the various lands on which you all join us from today. I pay my respects to their Elders, both past and present.”
You can also give participants the opportunity to share their local Traditional Owner group within the chat as part of your acknowledgment (if you feel this is appropriate). The shire-wide acknowledgment stated above can also be used during an online meeting.
Welcome to Country
A formal ‘Welcome to Country’ can only be delivered by the original custodians of the land where the meeting or event is taking place. This can be organised with either the Bunurong Land Council or the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation
View our Reconciliation Action Plan
We're committed to supporting reconciliation in Australia, with specific actions and goals outlined in the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2022-23.
Our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) was adopted in June 2015. It outlined the practical actions that Council would take to drive greater equality, build strong relationships and enhance respect between Aboriginal people, Council and the Cardinia Shire community.
Our second Reconciliation Action Plan builds on the vision and ambitions of our first RAP by focusing our efforts on further developing valuable relationships and opportunities through partnership with our local Traditional Owners, Aboriginal controlled organisations and services, and the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
Through discussions with Traditional Owner groups in our shire and local community members, a number of key themes emerged and are reflected in this plan – a desire for increased cultural recognition, connection and relationship building, and for culturally specific and relevant service partnerships to be developed and delivered locally.
Flying the Aboriginal flag
- We display the Aboriginal flag in recognition of Aboriginal people as the traditional owners of the land on which Cardinia Shire is located.
- The Aboriginal flag is proclaimed as a ‘Flag of Australia’ under Section 5 of the Flags Act and is recognised for its importance to Aboriginal people and as a symbol of identity.
- The black represents the Aboriginal people, the red symbolises the earth and their spiritual relationship to the land, while the yellow embodies the sun, the giver of life.
- The flag is displayed on a permanent basis in the Council Chambers and is flown at other civic places during special events including Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.
- The Aboriginal flag is flown at half mast, following a request from the relevant local Aboriginal community organisation, to mark the passing of an esteemed local elder.
Note: This procedure is currently under review.
Cardinia Reconciliation Advisory Group – expressions of interest
We want to hear from community members who are interested in actively contributing to a Cardinia Reconciliation Advisory Group. This group will help inform a range of projects and support the development of Council’s new Reconciliation Action Plan. If you are interested please contact the Social Inclusion Officer on 1300 787 624