Reconciliation Action Plan

Read the Council's first Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan for Council, staff and stakeholders and see how we're working towards reconciliation. 

Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan provides a framework for reconciliation activities from January 2023 to January 2025. It has been developed to help our Council and staff recognise the strong local culture and the ongoing history of our region, ensuring both are integrated into everything that we do.

Click here to view our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2022-2025

Group of people standing under big tree with sign
Council staff, elected members, Bagala Traditional Owners, local elders and stakeholders gather around the front cover of the Reconciliation Action Plan in Barunga. 


Our Vision for reconciliation in the Roper Gulf region is mutually respectful relationships, developed capacity of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with creation of greater employment opportunities and increased understanding of the diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories in our service footprint.



Roper Gulf Regional Council discussed the need for a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) many years ago, however it was never successfully developed. After the 2021 Northern Territory Local Government elections, the new Council made an emphatic decision to undertake the RAP development process and ensure its successful uptake as part of Council’s aspirations, strategic planning and direction.

Council and the Executive Management Team see this Plan as an opportunity for Roper Gulf Regional Council to improve its service delivery, continue its contribution to the region, and increase and maintain Council’s relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander constituents within our operational footprint.

The development and implementation of a Reconciliation Action Plan is also a part of Council’s Strategic Plan 2022 – 2027. Sitting within the Governance key outcome area and complemented by Council’s cross-cultural training objective, the implementation of the RAP will see an increase of awareness and acknowledgement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories within our region.

Council is determined to:

  • Deepen the relationships and mutual respect between people that work for Council, live in our communities, the Traditional Owners (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people), and other key stakeholders, and;
  • Increase workforce and stakeholder awareness of cultural protocols and sensitivities.


Message from the Mayor & CEO

The Roper Gulf region has a long cultural history over millennia and Indigenous lore is ingrained throughout. Barunga in particular holds special significance for all Australians as the location where the call for a National Treaty occurred in 1988 (the Barunga Statement). As an organisation, we have always had a strong motivation to recognise the Indigenous ways, which should already be embedded in our day-to-day operations. Instead we are still trying to balance the needs of our organisation with mainstream ways and this is why this Reconciliation Action Plan is so important.

This plan has been developed to help our Council and staff recognise the strong local culture and the ongoing history of our region, ensuring both are integrated into everything that we do. Over two thirds of Council staff are recognised as Indigenous Australians, and the development of this plan provides an opportunity to reflect on what changes have occurred since 2008 when our Council formed from smaller community Councils, and the important journey that is still ahead of us.

The community consultation for this plan took place in conjunction with an overall organisation review, to engage with staff and residents more thoroughly and to use the research from the extensive consultation process for both projects. It is extremely important to us that this RAP has ownership and has been developed by listening to the needs of the people that we are chartered to serve in our communities.

Within this RAP are four main focus areas:

  • Relationships
  • Respect
  • Opportunities
  • Governance

Each focus area lists a set of actions and deliverables for the organisation to follow, providing a path forward and allowing Roper Gulf Regional Council to be at the forefront of reconciliation. Some of these actions are very exciting and meaningful and we look forward to their implementation in the near future.

On behalf of all Elected Members and staff, we are proud to endorse Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan, which is our first in history. It’s been a long time coming and we thank our staff, elected members, stakeholders and the RAP working group for putting it together.

Kind Regards, 

Tony Jack (Mayor) and Marc Gardner (Chief Executive Officer)


Launch Event

Roper Gulf Regional Council was proud to launch its ‘Innovate’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) on Wednesday 15 March 2023 in the presence of Bagala Traditional Owners and elders, local councillors, staff and stakeholders.

The event was held in Barunga and began with a ‘Welcome to Country’ by Traditional Owner Esther Bulumbara, followed by presentations by the Northern Territory Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Selena Uibo, Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Mayor Tony Jack and CEO Marc Gardner.

The launch event was held in Barunga due to the special significance the community holds for all Australians, as the location where the call for National Treaty occurred in 1988, now known as the Barunga Statement.

The launch of the Reconciliation Action Plan was concluded with the unveiling of the document’s front cover design by Darwin-based company Moogie Down Productions.

The artwork depicts the rainbow serpent winding through the wards of the Roper Gulf region and ties in with the Council’s original branding story, which also symbolises the rainbow serpent.

The segments of the serpent stretch across the different wards and are made up of different colours and artwork styles of land and sea animals and plants to symbolise the different wards/Country of the region.

The RAP will now provide a framework for Roper Gulf Regional Council’s reconciliation activities over the coming 2 years.

Read more here