Reconciliation is an ongoing journey about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians. It recognises the impact of non-Indigenous settlement of Australia and encourages positive action from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples.
Reconciliation Australia’s vision for reconciliation is one where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will have the same life chances and choices as non-Indigenous children, and the length and quality of a person’s life will not be determined by their racial background. It is based on five key factors:
- historical acceptance
- race relations
- equality and equity
- institutional integrity
The City’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), details our commitment to continuously work towards improving relationships, opportunities and respect within the City to contribute to reconciliation in Australia.
Our fourth RAP has been developed in consultation with the City’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Reference Group Ni Kadadjiny Koort, Reconciliation Australia and the community.
We invite you to read and reflect on the initiatives outlined in our latest RAP, and join us in celebrating the rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories within the City.
Below are some highlight of our reconciliation journey that started in June 2010 with Council supporting the development of the City of Wanneroo's first RAP.
- June 2010 - Council supports the development of its first RAP
- July 2010 - Council endorses it's first Welcome to Country Policy
- June 2011 - Council appoints its first RAP Working Group
- September 2011 - Council holds its first RAP Working Group meeting (Elder Oriel Green elected Chairperson)
- October 2011 - Council holds its first Smoking Ceremony for swearing-in of Council members
- May 2012 - Council endorses its first RAP 2012 - 2014 (Reflect)
- December 2014 - Council endorses its second RAP 2015 - 2017 (Innovate)
- April 2016 - The City hosts its first on-Country training for employees
- November 2017 - The City installs eight entry statements featuring Noongar language: Wandjoo (welcome)
- February 2018 - City hosts the Wandjoo Festival to celebrate Noongar heritage and culture
- May 2018 - Council endorses its third RAP 2018/19 - 2021/22 (Innovate)
- August 2018 - The City purposely names Waitj (Emu) Dreaming Reserve
- December 2018 - The City commences Aboriginal artefact repatriation project
- November 2020 - The City installs its first public signage acknowledging the impact of development on cultural practice in Palladio Park, Clarkson
- December 2020 - Council employs four officers under section 50(d) and 51 of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act 1984
- February 2021 - Council employs its first Aboriginal trainee as part of the Public Sector Commission's Aboriginal Traineeship Program
- May 2021 - The City commences its first organisation-wide cultural awareness training program
- June 2021 - The City purposely names a coastal park in Jindalee in Noongar language: Wardaanup Park (place of the ocean)
- August 2021 - Council employs its first Aboriginal Cadet Ranger
- March 2022 - The City names its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Community Reference Group in Noongar language: Ni Kadadjiny Koort
- March 2022 - Development of a yarning circle in collaboration with Noongar consultants and Aboriginal students from Yanchep Secondary College at Kalbarri Park, Yanchep
- August 2022 - Council endorses the Noongar naming of major infrastructure project: Dordaak Kepap (the place of living waters) - new library and youth innovation hub in Landsdale
- September 2022 - Council confirmed as a Host Employer for Aboriginal Ranger Program
The City’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Reference Group is called Ni Kadadjiny Koort, meaning listening, thinking, and learning from the heart. The group meets quarterly to provide local knowledge, input, and guidance into the actions within the RAP, and helps us identify any issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and cultures.
A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) gives an organisation a structured approach to contribute to the reconciliation journey and acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Australia. It advances reconciliation by taking actions and making changes based around the themes of:
If your organisation is interested in starting a RAP visit Reconciliation Australia to find out about your eligibility, the process and how to get started.
The City encourages all people to take part in the reconciliation journey. If you’re looking for ideas on how you can contribute to reconciliation, Reconciliation Australia provides a list of actions that anyone can take. These include;
- Tips for making spaces culturally safe
- Links to cultural awareness training
- Resources to use in schools
- Access to music and films by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
If you have ideas about activities you would like to see in your community to celebrate or share Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture, we would love to hear from you. You might also like to consider applying for a community grant to help fund a reconciliation idea with up to $5,000 per project available. Contact Community Development on 9405 5600 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are running an event or meeting, you may wish to show your respect for Traditional Owners and the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Country through an Acknowledgement of Country. It can be given by both non-Indigenous people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, typically at the beginning of the occasion.
A Welcome to Country differs in that it must be delivered by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Elder from the Traditional Owners of the Country that the Welcome is being made for. It occurs at the beginning of an event and can take a variety of forms such as singing, dancing, smoking ceremonies, or a speech.
The City of Wanneroo is on Whadjuk Noongar Country. You can learn more about Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country on Noongar land by viewing the South West Aboriginal Land & Sea Council’s Noongar Protocols.
National Close the Gap Day (16th March)
National Close the Gap Day gives people the opportunity to show their support for health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. It is chance for organisations and communities to hold events and raise awareness of the Indigenous health crisis.
National Sorry Day (26th May)
National Sorry Day offers the community the opportunity to acknowledge the impact of the policies spanning more than 150 years of forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998 following the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission report, Bringing Them Home, which recommended that a national day of observance be declared.
National Reconciliation Week (27th May to 3rd June)
National Reconciliation Week recognises the reconciliation journey and aims to strengthen relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples by learning about shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation.
Mabo Day (3rd June)
Mabo Day marks the anniversary of the High Court of Australia’s judgement in 1992 in the Mabo case. This is a day of significance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people because it dismissed the notion of Terra nullius - meaning land belonging to no-one.
The Mabo case started in the Queensland Supreme Court and progressed through to the High Court of Australia, running for 10 years. Following the Mabo decision, Australia’s Federal Parliament passed the Native Title Act 1993.
Coming of the Light (1st July)
The 1st of July is a day of significance and celebration for a number of families and members of the Torres Strait Islander Community, representing a defining moment in the culture’s history when the missionaries landed in the Torres Strait. Welcoming peace by ending violence, resolving conflict and forming relationships with the maritime industry to enable access to services that were previously unobtainable.
Today, celebrating Torres Strait Islanders, come together to honour and educate others to learn about Torres Strait Islander culture by hosting community gatherings performing historical re-enactments, singing and feasting using traditional customs.
NAIDOC Week (first week of July)
NAIDOC Week celebrates and recognises the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It provides an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.
NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. The Committee makes important decisions regarding national NAIDOC celebrations each year on behalf of all First Nations people
NAIDOC Week 2023 recognises the theme of “For Our Elders”. This recognises that across generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in their communities and families.
Take part in 2023 NAIDOC Week by attending some of the City’s activities and events.