The City of Ballarat’s work to progress reconciliation in the Ballarat community has been recognised through its nomination as a finalist in the Local Government category of this year’s Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together (HART) Awards.
The annual awards, a partnership between Reconciliation Victoria and the Victorian Local Governance Association, are now in their sixth year. The HART Awards celebrate and honour the efforts of local governments and community groups engaged in reconciliation activities to drive change.
The City of Ballarat was nominated for the award for its reconciliation work through the Ballarat Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Portrait and Storytelling project, held as part of NAIDOC Week last year.
The Ballarat Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Portrait and Storytelling Project was inspired by the 2018 theme ‘Because of Her, We Can’ in celebration of the essential role First Nation women play as significant role models in our community.
As part of the project, Wirangu, Barngarla, Kokatha woman Jasmine Graham was selected by the City of Ballarat’s Koorie Engagement Action Group (KEAG) to shadow City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh for a day in July last year.
Portraits were displayed in several public places as a mobile art installation, ensuring the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trailblazers remained at the front of all events across Ballarat for several weeks.
The recognition as a finalist in the awards comes as the City of Ballarat plans to launch its third Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-2021 during National Reconciliation Week 2019. The RAP will feature the portraits of women shown during the exhibition.
The winner of the HART Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony in Melbourne on Friday 31 May.
City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh says the nomination reflects the City of Ballarat’s long-term commitment to reconciliation.
“It is an honour to be nominated as a finalist for this Award. The Ballarat Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Portrait and Storytelling Project brought Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together, creating an empowering experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to share their journeys, personal stories and advice.
“The City of Ballarat is committed to developing and elevating positive relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our community. We look forward to delivering our third Reconciliation Action Plan to contribute to greater unity within the Ballarat community.”