Ipswich, which is known traditionally in the Yagara language as Tulmur, has been home to Aboriginal people since before the beginnings of recorded European settlement. Aboriginal peoples owned, had sovereignty over and cultivated the lands, waters, flora and fauna of Ipswich. Aboriginal peoples mapped the terrain and the stars, made laws and held Government and maintained their connection to their country through song, dance, language and stories.
Ipswich City Council acknowledges the ongoing challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognises the importance of community and government coming together to achieve the best outcomes for the Ipswich community.
In 1995, Ipswich City Council committed to, with the support of respected community members, formulating a Reconciliation Initiative which became the Ipswich City Council Indigenous Australian Accord Working Party. Subsequently, the original Accord (the 1995 Accord) was developed, guiding how Ipswich City Council and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community would work together on shared issues and on a common agenda for change. The 1995 Accord initiative was awarded the Australian Reconciliation Award (Government Category) in May 1997 by the then Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and was formally adopted by Ipswich City Council in July 1998.
Building on the foundations laid by the 1995 Accord (and the subsequent 2015–2018 Accord), Council endorsed a new Accord in June 2020:
The Indigenous Accord 2020-2025 is Ipswich City Council’s strategic framework for reconciliation and community governance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their communities. It contains targeted and specific actions and sets the agenda for cooperation, collaboration and partnership between Ipswich City Council and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.