Richmond Landcare has set an inspiring precedent for reconciliation by being the first Landcare group in NSW to have its Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.
The Reflect RAP outlines the group’s dedication to increasing cultural awareness and knowledge, promoting engagement strategies, and building collaborative partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Michael Kennedy, Aboriginal Landcare Officer at the North Coast Regional Landcare Network, emphasises the crucial role of incorporating First Nations knowledge into Landcare projects and activities. The NSW North Coast was the pilot region for an Aboriginal Landcare Officer position under the NSW Landcare Aboriginal Engagement Program, known as ‘Working Together.’
Working closely with Michael Kennedy, Richmond Landcare has committed to engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to ensure that Landcare volunteers, staff and community members learn from Traditional Owners and work collaboratively towards achieving common goals.
Hedy Bryant, Richmond Landcare’s secretary and RAP champion said “Our goal is to establish strong partnerships with the Traditional Owners of the Country on which we work and incorporate their knowledge of Country, including plant names, their uses and Aboriginal Land Management practices into our projects.”
Staff at Richmond Landcare will consult with the appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and stakeholders to establish the correct cultural protocols and practices before projects get underway.
This approach ensures that Traditional Owners are consulted and listened to before any project commences, as Craig Little, Aboriginal Engagement Manager at Landcare NSW, notes: “It’s exciting to see Richmond Landcare initiating actions towards reconciliation by including the Traditional Owners of Country in an advisory role for their projects.”
Richmond Landcare’s Reflect RAP is a testament to the group’s commitment to building meaningful relationships with First Nations people and promoting reconciliation within their community.
By creating a RAP, Richmond Landcare not only demonstrates its commitment to cultural respect, appreciation, and awareness for Traditional Land Custodians, but also takes a meaningful step towards aligning the organisation’s values with those of Traditional Cultures.
This effort helps to promote greater understanding and recognition of the rich history and knowledge of First Nations peoples, and fosters stronger relationships and collaboration with these communities.
The group is proud to be leading the path towards reconciliation, and hopes that their efforts will inspire other Landcare groups to take similar steps.