Kwinana city council has established an Aboriginal advisory committee in a nod to the growing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in the city. The new committee, approved by councillors on May 10, will provide direct advice and recommendations to the city’s council and executive team. The latest Census data showed 4.4 per cent of Kwinana’s population was First Nations, well above the national average of 3.2 per cent, and represented the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Perth metro area. Kwinana mayor Carol Adams said the city was of the view this legitimised a dedicated committee for Aboriginal issues. While the city’s Boola Maara (Many Hands) Advisory Group has been guiding and advising officers on the city’s Reconciliation Action Plan and other issues since 2018, it will now formally become a committee, making it subject to the city’s standing orders local law. “As the city’s relationship with the Aboriginal community matures, we have now resolved that the existing Boola Maara (Many Hands) Advisory Group become a committee pursuant to Section 5.8 of the Local Government Act 1995,” Ms Adams said. The committee will work in partnership to advise the council on culturally appropriate decision-making on “matters that impact directly or indirectly on our Aboriginal community”. “The committee would also provide input into policy development, planning and advice to council across all areas where there is likely to be an impact on Aboriginal people and the local community,” Ms Adams said. “For example, it would support and advise council on how services and events could be more relevant and accessible to Aboriginal people, and provide an opportunity for ongoing dialogue between local Aboriginal people, Aboriginal peak bodies and council.” The city also recently welcomed its first Aboriginal partnerships adviser to guide the executive and staff on Aboriginal cultural practices, and how services and events can be undertaken in a culturally respectful way. City officers and Boola Maara will now work to establish the committee’s terms of reference, operations and intended membership, with a report to be presented to council for consideration.