This report explores ways the local councils in Victoria are contributing to reconciliation in their communities by using the arts as a vehicle. It focusses on the policies that underpin Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander arts activities of 79 councils, and finds that local governments play an increasingly important reconciliation role. The policies of six councils, representing a wide diversity in location, size and resources, are examined in detail.
As a result of her analysis, Emma Asscher recommends that the term ‘reconciliation’ and the actions councils take to achieve it need to be articulated and understood clearly, to determine whether long term reconciliation goals have been reached. Further, her study demonstrates that councils need not have access to substantial resources to develop effective Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander art policies. Untapped opportunities exist for councils to partner with other councils to deliver cost effective, ambitious and far reaching Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander arts initiatives.