Community HART Awards - 2016 Winners announced

City of Yarra and Reconciliation in the Park (Geelong) were last week announced as winners of the Community HART Awards 2016. 

Reconciliation Victoria, Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) and Bank Australia on Mabo Day announced the winners of the 2016 Community HART Awards, at a presentation ceremony attended by Aunty Joy Murphy and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Hon Natalie Hutchins.

The awards recognise councils and community organisations that are Helping Achieve Reconciliation Together – that is, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people working together and contributing to building relationships, respect and understanding between each other.

The City of Yarra received the Local Government Award for its Connecting with the Aboriginal History of Yarra: A Teachers’ Resource. The resource is a much needed toolkit for the local community and provides local teachers with a roadmap for teaching local Aboriginal history and engaging with Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri people.

Reconciliation in the Park (Geelong), conducted by Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group & Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative, contributes to local relationships between Aboriginal people and the wider community.

Victorian Local Governance Association President, Cr Sebastian Klein, congratulated the winners on their achievement.

“This is an outstanding result for the City of Yarra and Reconciliation in the Park (Geelong); two organisations which are working towards achieving reconciliation in our communities,” Cr Klein said

“The HART Awards are an great example of how, together, we can recognise and celebrate the work of people who are creating a society we can all take part in, proudly and equally.

Cr Klein highlighted the work of local government in this area.

 “The City of Yarra is leading the way in this important area and showing how, we as a community, can work together to achieve practical, purposeful outcomes.”

Reconciliation Victoria Co-Chair, Belinda Duarte says “in their third year, the Community HART Awards make a significant contribution to our national journey of healing and reconciliation”. Ms Duarte goes on to say that the HART Awards “shine a light on the local initiatives and champions making a real difference in their communities, so that others might take ideas and inspiration forward into their own workplaces and communities”.

The City of Whittlesea and Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation also received special commendation for their initiatives in support of reconciliation in their communities.

Bank Australia’s support of the Community HART awards is part of the bank’s commitment to increase awareness about reconciliation and contribute to improved opportunities and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Community HART Awards were presented at an event in Melbourne on Friday 3 June 2016 at the Koorie Heritage Trust, which falls on Mabo Day during Reconciliation Week.

Winners received a one-off piece of original artwork by local Aboriginal artist Emma Bamblett. The community organisation winner was also awarded $1000 to support their reconciliation initiatives. 

Media Contact: Damian O'Keefe (Reconciliation Victoria) 0427 030 545, Justin Kann (VLGA), 0419 639 514

HART Award Finalists 2016:

Download the 2016 HART Awards Booklet with info on all this year's finalists

Local Government

City of Greater Dandenong and City of CaseyReconciliation in Early Childhood Forum

Darebin City CouncilStolen Generations Marker ‘Empty Coolamon’

Yarra City CouncilConnecting with the Aboriginal History of Yarra: A Teachers’ Resource

Melton City Council: Historical Sharing Through Partnership: Creating sound-scapes of local Aboriginal women’s personal histories

City of Port PhillipAboriginal interpretative signage project

City of WhittleseaSorry Space and associated Sorry Day activities


Community organisation

Castlemaine District Radio Inc trading as Main FM: Dja dja Wurrung Radio

The Nara Dreaming ExhibitionThe Nara Dreaming Exhibition

The Gadhaba Local Indigenous NetworkRaising the Flags

Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group & Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operativeReconciliation in the Park

Tarerer Gunditj Project Association IncTarerer Showcase – ‘Back to the Land' 2015

Wandoon Estate Aboriginal CorporationCoranderrk