First Nations Reconciliation

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Find out more about Council’s commitments to Reconciliation local Traditional Owner groups and First Nations organisations, upcoming events and other resources.

Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan Dec 23-24(PDF, 3MB)

Council's commitment to Reconciliation

Surf Coast Shire Council is committed to walking with Traditional Owners and First Nations people in our community towards Reconciliation. Find out more about our journey:


Council resolutions


  • National Reconciliation Week (annually)
  • National NAIDOC Week (annually)
  • Pilk Purriyn January 26 truth telling event

Reconciliation Action Plans

Since 2006, Reconciliation Action Plans have enabled organisations to sustainably and strategically take meaningful action to advance reconciliation.

Based around the core pillars of relationships, respect and opportunities, Reconciliation Action Plans provide tangible and substantive benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, increasing economic equity and supporting First Nations self-determination. 

Find out more about the Reconciliation Action Plan framework at Reconciliation Australia.

Read Council's Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (December 2023-December 2024)(PDF, 3MB).

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week takes place from 27 May to 3 June each year, following National Sorry Day on 26 May.

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. 

Find out more at Reconciliation Australia.

National Reconciliation Week 2024 - Now More Than Ever

To commemorate National Reconciliation Week this year, Council is lending its support to the Journey on Wadawurrung Country immersive exhibition.

This sensory cultural learning experience shares images, life stories and sounds of Wadawurrung People and Country. 

Grant Pavilion, Torquay
28 May - 16 June
10am-3pm daily
Find out more

Council marks Reconciliation Week every year with a community event. These have included:

  • 2023 Be A Voice For Generations - with guest speakers Wadawurrung woman Corrina Eccles and Kaurareg Aboriginal and Kalkalgal, Erubamle Torres Strait Islander man Thomas Mayo.
  • 2022 Be Brave. Make Change. - with guest speakers Worimi man Gerard Black and Adnyamathanha woman Marsha Uppill.


NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth. 

You can support and get to know your local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities through activities and events held across the country. 

Find out more at NAIDOC.

NAIDOC Week 2024 - Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud

7-14 July
More info to come

Council marks NAIDOC Week every year with a community event. These have included:

  • 2023 For Our Elders - community event and exhibition with Yorta Yorta/Baraparapa artist Dr Jenny Murray-Jones. For Our Elders: Beyond the Voids in Colonial History at Winchelsea Shire Hall, Gulidjan Country.
  • 2022 Show Up! - with Wadawurrung artists BJ O'Toole and Jenna Oldaker; Worimi artist Gerard Black; Wagiman artist Nathan Patterson; and Bidjera/Jiman artist Debbie Presley at Anglesea Art Space, Wadawurrung Country.

Registered Aboriginal Parties

Registered Aboriginal Parties are Traditional Owner groups legally recognised under the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006. They are the primary guardians, keepers and knowledge holders, with responsibilities for managing and protecting Aboriginal Cultural Heritage on Country.

Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation


Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation


About Registered Aboriginal Parties 

Find out more at Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council.

First Nations organisations and services

Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative

Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative was established in 1980 to provide culturally appropriate programs, support and services for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living within the Geelong, Bellarine, Surf Coast and Colac regions.

The Co-operative is focused on building and maintaining strong community, strong culture, and strong country.

Find out more about Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative.

Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre 

'Narana' means a deep listening and understanding. Our vision is to promote Reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people by developing a better understanding of culture through community connections. 

At Narana you will find a retail store, cafe, native garden, exhibition centre, art gallery and playground.

Find out more about Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre.


Meaning ‘to dance’ in Wadawurrung, Ngarrimili was established to nurture and support business and entrepreneurship opportunities amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Victoria.

Search the Blak Business Directory of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander owned businesses in a wide variety of industries. 

Find out more about Ngarrimili.

The Voice referendum

On 26 April 2023, Surf Coast Shire Council voted to publicly support constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Australian Constitution (The Voice).

Council committed to providing clear, unambiguous information for the community, enabling residents to make a considered and informed choice in the referendum. 

Read Council's media release

On 14 October 2023, the majority of Australian states voted No to the referendum, rejecting the proposal for constitutional recognition for First Nations Peoples and an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

At this significant time in history, we reaffirm our commitment to deeply listen as we walk and work together with the Traditional Owners of the land we now call Surf Coast Shire – the Wadawurrung People and the Gulidjan and Gadubanud Peoples of the Eastern Maar– and all First Nations people who are part of this community.



For more information contact Council via email or phone 5261 0600.