Media Releases 2018

Posted on 01/06/2018 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Strengthening reconciliation across Bass Coast

This year for National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June), organisations across Bass Coast hosted a shared program of events to celebrate our rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and achievements.

National Reconciliation Week commemorates two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey, the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. The theme for this year’s National Reconciliation Week is ‘Don’t Keep History a Mystery: Learn, Share and Grow’ which encourages us all to learn more about Australia’s First Peoples and explore how each of us can contribute to reconciliation by being active participants.
Westernport Water’s Managing Director Peter Quigley said “Reconciliation activities hosted across the region this week have all been very well attended and will help our organisations to foster reconciliation discussions and to strengthen relationships with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.”

This year, for the first time, events were jointly organised and presented by Bass Coast Shire Council, Westernport Water, Phillip Island Nature Parks, Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Bass Coast South Gippsland Reconciliation Group, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community members.

“We must recognise that reconciliation is an ongoing process. We may not get it right all the time, however, as leaders in our community it’s important that we advocate for respectful relationships as we work towards a shared future,” said Mr Quigley.

Kevin Love, Acting Chair of Phillip Island Nature Parks, remarked on the spirit of partnership not only between Bass Coast Shire Council, Westernport Water and the Nature Parks but with the Bass Coast South Gippsland Reconciliation Group, Traditional Custodians and the local community.

“The Nature Parks is not only developing its third Reconciliation Action Plan but is also looking to embed reconciliation into its values and day to day activities,” said Mr Love.

“Bass Coast Shire Council is proud and excited to be commencing on our journey of reconciliation with the preparation of our Reconciliation Action Plan. We look forward to working closely with the community and partners as we strive towards building strong and respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians based on understanding, trust and respect,” said Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor, Councillor Pamela Rothfield.

Patrice Mahoney, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community member said: “It’s great to see the years spent advocating for recognition for our Community are being recognised. These shared events demonstrate that we are a valued part of the Bass Coast community.”

To find out more about Phillip Island Nature Parks, Westernport Water and Bass Coast Shire’s journey to reconciliation, please visit their websites.


Media Contact | Geoff Russell 1300 720 711 or email |