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Findings from the community pulse check survey

We received 480 responses to our community pulse check survey. We asked our community:

  • Why is reconciliation in Boroondara important to you?
  • What specific actions would you like Council to take to progress reconciliation locally?

We also asked people to:

  • rate their level of knowledge about the histories and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia and Boroondara
  • tell us if they knew who the Traditional Owners are in Boroondara.

The survey results gave us an idea on how the community is feeling about reconciliation.

Why is reconciliation in Boroondara important to you?

While the survey question didn't ask if reconciliation is important, we found out from the written responses that:

  • 78% of people who responded to the survey support reconciliation in Boroondara
  • 19% of people who responded to the survey said that reconciliation is not important
  • 3% of people who responded to the survey were not sure about how important reconciliation is.

We also identified 13 key themes from the responses to this first question. It’s encouraging and positive to see that these themes strongly support what we heard in our consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders.

Themes Count %
Reconciliation is the right thing to do. 124 26%
We need to acknowledge the past. We also need to improve visibility of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultures and histories through education and awareness. 117 24%

Justice is important, including:

  • truth-telling
  • making amends 
  • fighting unfairness.
115 24%
Local communities, including Council, should lead the reconciliation process.  93 19%
It’s important to respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultures. 91 19%
Reconciliation is not important. 91 19%
It’s important to recognise Traditional Owners and their unique relationship to the land. 84 18%
Reconciliation is important for the future and shared national identity. 79 16%
Reconciliation is important for building an inclusive community for all. 38 8%
Reconciliation is important for healing trauma and damage. 35 7%
Personal connection to the importance of reconciliation. 33 7%
Include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' voices in decision-making. 24 5%
Not sure how to feel about reconciliation. 15 3%

The total is more than 100% because people who responded to the survey could say more than one theme for why reconciliation is important in Boroondara. 

What specific actions would you like Council to take to progress reconciliation locally?

People who responded to the survey were also asked about actions they would like to see Council take to progress reconciliation in Boroondara. We identified key actions from their responses. We put together a list of actions suggested by at least 25 people who responded to the survey (5% of the sample). These actions strongly support what we heard in our consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders.

Action Count %

Help to educate and raise awareness about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories for all age groups.

This could be through:

  • Council’s website 
  • Council's bulletin
  • library resources
  • workshops
  • talks
  • movies
  • school programs.
175 36%
Use signs, plaques and information boards, such as stories and history trails, on Council buildings and in public spaces. Use traditional Aboriginal names, as well as English and Aboriginal languages, to name buildings and open spaces, such as streets and parks.  138 29%

Use the Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners/Welcome to Country:

  • at Council meetings and events 
  • on Council’s website 
  • in Council’s publications.
107 22%
Engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about things that are important to them. 90 19%

Support events that are led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. For example:

  • storytime
  • walks
  • history talks 
  • smoking ceremonies.
90 19%
Include Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples in Council decision-making processes. 68 14%
Fly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at Council buildings. 64 13%

Promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in:

  • Council buildings 
  • public spaces 
  • parks, such as sculptures, paintings, and murals.
43 9%
Provide opportunities (spaces and events) to bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the non-Aboriginal community. 39 8%

Celebrate important dates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, such as:

  • NAIDOC Week 
  • National Reconciliation Week.
30 6%
Create a Reconciliation Action Plan and other relevant policy documents. 28 6%
Increase employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 25 5%

The total is more than 100% because people who responded to the survey could say more than one action to progress reconciliation in Boroondara. 

The findings above show that there is a strong overlap of common themes and priorities from the different phases of community consultations. It also shows there is support from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and the broader community to work in partnership together to progress reconciliation locally.