RECONCILIATION TAKES ACTION IN THE SHIRE OF YORK

Published on Tuesday, 25 May 2021 at 11:05:40 AM

National Reconciliation Week is being marked in the Shire of York by an Unveiling Ceremony at the summit of Wongborel/Mt Brown. On Friday 28 May at 1.00pm two new brass plaques commemorating the Ballardong Noongar and settler heritage of York will be revealed to the public.

Local Elder Audrey Narkle-Nettle will unveil the Ballardong plaque and give a Welcome To Country and Shire President Denese Smythe will unveil the settler plaque.

In 2020 local Ballardong Noongar Elder Mr Phillip Bateman drew the Shire’s attention to a plaque on one of the stone monuments, which ignored and did not acknowledge the existence of the Ballardong Noongar people. This attitude commonly occurred in the 1960s when it is believed the plaque was installed but is not acceptable today.

Further research by Shire staff revealed that the existing information about the settler discovery of the area was factually incorrect, so it was decided by Council to respectfully honour both Indigenous and settler heritage by having two new plaques.

Everyone is welcome to attend this public event which marks an important step in the Reconciliation process for the Shire of York and its local Ballardong Noongar residents.

To gauge the local Aboriginal community’s response and willingness to be involved and supportive of the Shire‘s undertaking of a RAP, a series of three consultation meetings have been held this year. Dr Marion Kickett, Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University was engaged to facilitate the consultation process and to provide cultural awareness training. A very positive response was received from the meetings towards support for the RAP.

  • Trails development for the area will include interpretation of Ballardong, natural and historic cultural heritage with appropriate consultation with all parties. The Noongar Cultural Heritage Survey will feed into a forthcoming Trails Concept Plan which identifies routes and points of interest.

For more information please contact: records@york.wa.gov.au tel: 9641 0500

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