Ballarat's reconciliation plan praised

A BALLARAT Aboriginal elder has praised the city's push for a renewed reconciliation plan.

But "Uncle" Murray Harrison says more needs to be done for indigenous communities to feel at home in Ballarat. 

"Before the reconciliation plan, nobody cared who we were," Mr Harrison said. 

"Some people would still think we were running around the bush naked." 

On Tuesday members of the Koorie Engagement Action Group (KEAG) met to discuss the next instalment of the Ballarat City Council Reconciliation Action Plan 2011-2013.

The Reconciliation Plan was developed in 2011 to help build relationships, opportunities and respect for indigenous communities in Ballarat. 

This will be council's second Reconciliation Action Plan and will be updated every four years, instead of every two. 

"We wanted to make sure the next council would have the chance to make a change," KEAG member Tony Lovett said. 

All of the KEAG members, including co-chair and councillor Belinda Coates, said the action plan had helped promote indigenous communities in Ballarat, but had the scope to achieve more. 

"There has been a lot of progress and a lot of promotion of the plan," Cr Coates said. 

"It deserves alot of commitment and energy from the community and does show that we can work together to build on it."

The 2014 Reconciliation Action Plan is expected to be launched mid this year.

Today is the sixth anniversary of the apology to the Stolen Generation.

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