RECONCILIATION Australia has made a case for having an accredited Reconciliation Action Plan, as the City of Greater Bendigo seeks to join other councils in going it alone.
The city is updating its Reconciliation Plan, with a draft expected to come before the council mid-year.
City staff have conveyed a "strong community preference for the city to develop its own unique reconciliation strategy that does not follow Reconciliation Australia's Reconciliation Action Plan model".
Doing so would "enable the city's new Reconciliation Plan to be more suited to the Greater Bendigo context and our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and to allow greater flexibility to meet changing community needs and future state-wide initiatives," according to a report in this week's council agenda.
Being able to work with Traditional Owners to seek a Dja Dja Wurrung or Taungurung language name for the new Reconciliation Plan was one of the suggested possibilities.
During Wednesday's meeting, councillors noted a direction not to seek endorsement from Reconciliation Australia for the updated Reconciliation Plan to be approved as a RAP.
They also considered progress on the city's existing Reconciliation Plan.
Seventy-one of the 93 actions in the existing Reconciliation Plan had been achieved.
Eight were still in progress, and four were not delivered.
Ten actions were not progressed "due to changing community need and the consideration of other actions".
Reconciliation Australia welcomed the City of Greater Bendigo's ongoing commitment to reconciliation.
"We remain open to working with the council to develop a RAP that will enable them to join the 155 councils and many of Bendigo's major employers as members of the RAP network," Reconciliation Australia chief executive Karen Mundine said.
"Our years of experience in developing and running the RAP program has demonstrated that the accountability of an accredited RAP and access to the network of over 1000 RAP organisations is critical to sustained and strategic efforts to advance reconciliation."
The City of Greater Bendigo's report said several Victorian councils had chosen to develop their own plans and strategies, instead of pursuing RAP endorsement.
Among them were Darebin City Council, Glenelg Shire, and Swan Hill Rural City.
Bendigo city staff said Mount Alexander Shire Council decided to cease its RAP Plan endorsement process in December, "given the advice of their Aboriginal advisory group and the difficulties in trying to adapt the RAP model to suit their local context and gain Reconciliation Australia approval."