Reconciliation in the Huon Valley

The Huon Valley Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the South East Nation, the Melukerdee people of the Huon River and the Lyluequonny people of the Far South. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and culture, and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

We are committed to making a meaningful impact in Australia’s reconciliation journey. One of the steps we have taken to do this is by developing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

We began this journey in November 2019 with a significant engagement process, hearing the aspirations of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, the wider Huon Valley community, and our staff.

Meeting with and listening to the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community has been critical to creating something meaningful. The ideas and feedback received through this process directly shaped the actions set out in the plan.

At the end of 2021, both Reconciliation Australia and our Councillors endorsed the Huon Valley Council’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan.

19.017.21 Reconciliation Action Plan – Dec 21 to Dec 22

Listening, sharing stories and truth telling

For too long, the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have not been heard. We recognise the history and culture of the original local clans, the Melukerdee and Lyluequonny people of the South East Nation. We are taking this opportunity to listen and share the stories of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Included in the plan are meaningful and practical actions that build respect, relationships and opportunities. Some of the key action ideas in the Reflect RAP include:

  • Connect the community through local Aboriginal cultural experiences.
  • Support Aboriginal cultural awareness and competency training.
  • Show respect through actions such as Acknowledgements of Country and flying the Aboriginal flag.
  • Consult with Aboriginal staff and community members about projects that impact on them.
  • Create a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander liaison role within Council.
  • Consider dual naming using local language.
  • Share local Aboriginal histories and cultures to all in an inclusive and accessible way (interpretation signage, displays, films, exhibitions).

Our vision for reconciliation is that all who live on this land, acknowledge our shared history and move forward together, in a respectful way.

We understand that the journey to reconciliation is ongoing, and the Reflect RAP provides us with an opportunity to learn and build our capacity for reconciliation that will prepare us for the journey ahead.

The local Aboriginal culture

The Huon Valley was originally home to the Melukerdee and Lyluequonny people of the South East Nation, who remain the traditional custodians of this land. Neighbouring clans of the South East Nation include the Nuenonne people of Bruny Island and the Muwinina people of Hobart. The Huon Valley’s residents who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is higher than the state average, and sits at 9.3% of the population.

The Stories

Working with the local Aboriginal community, we are sharing stories of the local Aboriginal culture and history. These films capture the diverse stories of life among people living in the Huon Valley.

The films are all available to watch on our YouTube channel.

NAIDOC week opening
NAIDOC Week Opening 2021 YouTube

Being part of an Aboriginal Family
Huon Beings Being part of an Aboriginal Family YouTube

Indigenous Fire Practitioner, Jason Smith shares his experiences of traditional burning with the Huon Valley community.
Traditional Burning Practices in the Huon Valley YouTube

Auntie Sheryl Talks series
Huon Beings – Auntie Cheryl talks about being Aboriginal YouTube
Huon Beings – Auntie Cheryl talks about wayraparattee YouTube
Huon Beings – Auntie Cheryl talks about foster kids YouTube