Sutherland Shire Council is developing a Reconciliation Action Plan, aimed at fostering a greater respect and appreciation for local Indigenous people and their culture. The proposal was endorsed by the Aboriginal Advisory Committee, a council sub-committee, and will be submitted to Reconciliation Australia for endorsement within the next 12 months. A working group, including local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander representatives, will prepare the plan. A spokeswoman said community consultation and an online discussion forum would take place as part of the process. "A draft Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) will be presented to the Aboriginal Advisory Committee and council for final endorsement," she said. The spokeswoman said the council's resolve to develop the plan was "driven as a result of our 2003 collaborative Reconciliation Statement and Community Response, aimed at fostering a greater respect and appreciation for our local First Nations peoples and their culture". "As part of the development of the Draft Community Development Strategy and 2020 Community Sector Plans, which seek to ensure council continues to support a connected and culturally vibrant community, this RAP demonstrates council's deep commitment towards the goal of reconciliation, and representing the latest step in our ongoing efforts to build on the collaborative relationship we share with our local Indigenous community," she said. The spokeswoman said the council had worked for many years to foster strong and respectful relations with the local First Nations community, and it was hoped those efforts would be strengthened further through the RAP. Initiatives each year including the Meeting of Two Cultures and NAIDOC Week events, she said.