; Reconciliation - City of Wanneroo

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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: 

  1. historical acceptance
  2. race relations
  3. equality and equity
  4. institutional integrity
  5. unity.

Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

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.

Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2023-2025
Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2018/19 - 2021/22
Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2015-2017
Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2012-2014

If you have any questions regarding our new RAP, please email communitydevelopment@wanneroo.wa.gov.au or call 9405 5600


Highlights of our reconciliation journey

Below are some highlights of our reconciliation journey:


  • Council supports the development of the City’s first RAP in June and endorses its first Welcome to Country in July.


  • Council appoints the City’s first RAP working group and elects Noongar Elder Oriel Green as Chairperson.
  • The City holds its first smoking ceremony for the Swearing-in of Council Members.

2012 – 2015

  • Council endorses the RAP 2012 - 2014 (Reflect), followed by the RAP 2015 - 2017 (Innovate).


  • The City installs eight Wandjoo (welcome) entry statement signs featuring Noongar language.


  • The City hosts the Wandjoo Festival celebrating Noongar heritage and culture.
  • Council endorses the RAP 2018/9 – 2021/22 (Innovate).
  • Waitj (emu) Dreaming Reserve is named using Noongar language.
  • The City commences the Aboriginal artefact repatriation project.


  • The City installs its first public signage acknowledging the impact of development on cultural practice in Palladio Park, Clarkson.


  • The City employs its first Aboriginal Cadet Ranger, and its first Aboriginal trainee as part of the Public Sector Commission's Aboriginal Traineeship Program.
  • The City commences its first organisation-wide cultural awareness training program.
  • Wardaanup (place of the ocean) Park in Jindalee is names using Noongar language.


  • The City names its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Community Reference Group, Ni Kadadjiny Koort, in Noongar language.
  • A yarning circle is developed in Kalbarri Park in Yanchep in collaboration with Noongar consultants and Aboriginal students from Yanchep Secondary College.
  • Council endorses the Noongar naming of Dordaak Kepap (the place of living waters), the proposed Landsdale library and youth innovation hub.
  • The City is confirmed as a Host Employer for the Aboriginal Ranger Program.


  • The iconic yellow Wangara boomerang (kali) sculpture is revitalised in a collaborative Noongar design project involving local community members and artists.
  • The City surpasses its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment target of 1.4%, achieving a strong outcome of 2.1%.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Reference Group

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.


Start a Reconciliation Action Plan

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:

  • Relationships
  • Respect
  • Opportunities

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.


Take action for reconciliation

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: communitydevelopment@wanneroo.wa.gov.au


Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country

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.


Significant dates

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.