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Indigenous Bayside

We are committed to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and acknowledge that Aboriginal people have a rich and continuous connection to the Bayside area.

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Bayside City Council proudly acknowledges the Bunurong People of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land, and we pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. 

Council acknowledges the Bunurong’s continuing relationship to the land and waterways and respects that their connection and spiritual identity is maintained through ancient ceremonies, songlines, dance, art and living culture.

Council pays tribute to the invaluable contributions of the Bunurong and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island elders who have guided and continue to guide the work we do.

Our statement of commitment to Indigenous Australians

Indigenous culture and heritage is respected and appreciated by the Bayside community who will work together to create a better future for all Australians. Bayside City Council:

  • recognises that the Bunurong are the traditional owners of the land that now comprises the City of Bayside
  • acknowledges that this land was colonised without the consent of the original inhabitants
  • recognises the distinctive relationship that indigenous people have with local land and waters, including trees, hills and valleys, creeks and coast of Bayside
  • regrets past misunderstandings and injustices experienced by Australia’s indigenous communities including the confiscation of traditional lands, and the implementation of policies which had the effect of extinguishing indigenous practices, language and culture
  • supports people of Australia working together for the development of a formal instrument of reconciliation
  • acknowledges the right of the indigenous people of Australia to live, subject to Australian law, according to their own values and customs and is committed to respecting indigenous sacred sites and significant places
  • acknowledges the value, significance, diversity and strength of indigenous cultures to the heritage of all Australians, and is committed to working with indigenous people to research local stories and sites of significance to indigenous people, assisting them to record and present their histories
  • records its appreciation of the initiatives already taken by indigenous and non-indigenous people in assisting Bayside City Council and the community to understand and appreciate indigenous heritage and culture
  • commits to consultation – on matters of mutual concern - with representatives of the Kulin Nation and any other legitimately constituted group representing indigenous culture and heritage.

Reconciliation Action Plan

We are committed to building respectful relationships and giving meaningful opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We adopted our second Reconciliation Action Plan Innovate in June 2022. Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is aligned with Reconciliation Australia and takes into consideration the Korin Korin Balit-Djak domains. The RAP focuses on actions which protect and promote Indigenous cultural heritage and the wellbeing of Indigenous people in Bayside.

View the Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan


Find out about community engagement on our second Reconciliation Action Plan

Bayside's Reconciliation Advisory Committee

Bayside’s Reconciliation Advisory Committee was established in October 2019. The Advisory Committee is an external community group and is made up of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives, community leaders and key agency representatives. The aim of the Advisory Committee is to provide the following:

  • advise on the planning, development and implementation of Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
  • guidance to plan community engagement to achieve reconciliation goals and outcomes.
  • champion awareness raising activities within the Bayside community.
  • provide endorsement at key stages of development and implementation of the Reconciliation Action Plan.
  • assist with tracking progress, evaluating and reporting on the Reconciliation Action Plan.


Registered Aboriginal Parties map

The attached map illustrates the Registered Aboriginal Parties for Victoria as at 1 July 2021. It shows Bayside sitting within the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation. For more detailed information, visit the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council website.


Baykeepers: Time of Chaos

Humans have long been entrusted to protect Nerm (Port Phillip Bay). Arweet Carolyn Briggs, Boon Wurrung Elder, shares the Time of Chaos story which tells how Nerm was formed and why we must continue to protect it.

Humans have long been entrusted to protect Nerm (Port Phillip Bay). Arweet Carolyn Briggs, Boon Wurrung Elder, shares the Time of Chaos story which tells how Nerm was formed and why we must continue to protect it.

Credit and thanks to The Arts Centre, the Boon Wurrung Foundation and Port Phillip EcoCentre.

Uluru Statement from the Heart and Voice Referendum

Bayside City Council accepts the invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and supports a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Australian Constitution.

At the August 2021 Council Meeting, Councillors voted to support this important step in Australia’s reconciliation journey. The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation to the Australian people to work with First Nations people to create a better future.

Read more about Council's support for the Voice to Parliament and the Uluru Statement

Indigenous Coastal Trail 

The Indigenous Trail includes works of contemporary Indigenous artists and is based on stories authored by Boon Wurrung Elder Carolyn Briggs.

The trail outlines the close relationship between Kulin Nations culture and the coastal environment. Bayside's rich coastal history and the significant local flora and fauna are also prominent.

Indigenous Coastal Trail guide


Ellen José Student Reconciliation Awards

The annual awards program honours the life of Torres Strait Elder and long-time Bayside resident Ellen Jose who passed away in 2017.

The awards reflect Ellen Jose’s inspirational commitment to building awareness of reconciliation in Bayside and beyond and ask primary and secondary students to interpret "As a young person, what does reconciliation mean to you?" through an artwork (primary students) or a piece of writing (secondary students).

More on the Ellen José Student Reconciliation Awards

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations locally and across Victoria

Find out more about organisations, services and service providers that support First Nations people locally and across Victoria.

More on First Nations organisations