A motion to acknowledge the traditional landowners at council meetings was passed at Break O’Day Council’s meeting on Monday.
The motion asked the council to have an “acknowledgment of landowners” at the beginning of each public council meeting, special meeting and council workshops.
Councillor Kylie Wright moved the motion, which she said passed unanimously.
“Acknowledging country is a common sense decision that is long overdue. It’s about showing respect and recognition towards the original custodians of the land upon which council meets," Cr Wright said
“It all went well and I’m very pleased it passed.”
The motion was amended by Councillor John McGiveron. Cr Wright said the change removed the workshop part of the motion and would see the acknowledgement conducted at the start of each public council meeting.
At the council’s July meeting, Cr Wright moved a motion to fly the Aboriginal flag outside the council chambers. The motion failed.
“I didn’t think the flag flying motion would be such an issue after having such a terrific NAIDOC week. I thought it would have gone through quite easily,” she said.
“I would urge council to build on this step in creating stronger relations between all members of the Break O'Day community by reconsidering my motion to fly the Aboriginal flag outside chambers.”
Cr Wright said an Aboriginal community member spoke during public question time about how important it was to the Aboriginal community to have the flag flown. She also expressed her disappointment that last month’s motion didn’t pass.
“She asked if we, as the community, wanted to strengthen the relationship with the Aboriginal community. That may have struck a cord with one or two [council members] who might not necessarily would have voted in the positive,” Cr Wright said.
Cr Wright hadn’t expected the flag motion to be an issue, and said presenting the traditional landowners motion a month later had made her doubt whether it would pass.
“I half-and-half expected that this one might not go through too,” she said.
“But we had a different line up of council yesterday. When the flag issues was coming through, we had both [Councillors] Janet Drummond and Margaret Osbourne absent. Yesterday they were both there.”
Mayor Mick Tucker and Councillor John Tucker were absent from the August meeting.
“When I realised the line up that we had, I was pretty confident that it would go through,” Cr Wright said.
Cr Wright said she would again look at representing the flag flying motion.
“Being that I had only put it in the month before, I just didn’t think it would be well-received [if it was represented on Monday],” she said.