NAIDOC Week News

Published on Tuesday, 10 November 2020 at 4:26:20 PM

 

The Shire of York acknowledges the Noongar Nation and specifically the Balladong people as the Traditional Custodians of this land and we pay our respects to Elders, past and present. We also acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living within the Shire of York.

 

The NAIDOC Week theme for 2020 is Always Was, Always Will Be. This theme recognises and celebrates the First Nations people who have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. NAIDOC Week 2020 invites all Australians to embrace the ancient history of this country – a history which dates back thousands of generations.

 

New plaques for Wongborel/Mt Brown

Following a request by a local Ballardong Noongar Elder, Council agreed at the August Council meeting to change one of the signs on a granite column on Wongborel/ Mt Brown, which did not acknowledge the existence of Indigenous people in the area for tens of thousands of years before 1830. This attitude commonly occurred in the 1960s when it is believed the plaque was installed but is not acceptable today.

On researching the details on the plaque, it was discovered that the plaque was factually incorrect. The plaque has been removed and will be replaced by two plaques, one acknowledging the Ballardong Noongar Traditional Owners and another with the story of the exploration of the York area by settlers in 1830.

The Noongar Standard Heritage Agreement with SWALSC and forthcoming survey

Shire owned or managed Crown reserves on Wongborel/Mt. Brown, Walwalying/Mt. Bakewell and along the Avon River were identified in the recent Shire of York Trails Master Plan as possible places for future trails, or formalising existing trails. The Shire has already commissioned a Flora and Fauna survey and a Dieback survey of Wongborel/Mt Brown which can be seen here: https://www.york.wa.gov.au/community/park-gardens/trails.aspx

At the September Council Meeting, Council agreed to enter a Noongar Standard Heritage Agreement with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council. This means that before any trails development is undertaken, a Noongar Cultural Heritage Survey will be undertaken by SWALSC to standards laid down in the NSHA in order to identify and record culturally sensitive sites.

Development of a RAP [Reconciliation Action Plan]

 At the recent November Council Concept Forum, Council agreed to the Shire of York commencing a Reconciliation Action Plan. This is a four-stage process undertaken to national standards defined by Reconcilation Australia.  Stage 1 is ‘Reflect’ where organisations reflect upon what they do already, what needs to be done and form a RAP Working Group including local Traditional Owners to guide the RAP process. Find out more here:  https://www.reconciliation.org.au/reconciliation-action-plans/ Any Ballardong Noongar person who would like to be involved or kept in touch about the process is invited to contact Shire Arts & Cultural Heritage Officer Carol Littlefair on 96410500 or e: records@york.wa.gov.au

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