Smouldering gum leaves and a diverse display of decorated hands greeted the crowd that gathered out the front of the Council Administration Building for a Flag Raising Ceremony on Thursday, 27 May.
The ceremony was held on the first day of National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June) with Elder Lindsay Calyun conducting the smoking ceremony to unite guests.
Local Elder Michael Indich provided the Welcome to Country and Kwinana Citizen of the Year Lynn Coomer spoke about bringing unity in a community while celebrating diversity.
Mayor Carol Adams made special mention of artist Samantha Ballard whose commissioned artwork features on the front of the City of Kwinana’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.
“The theme for National Reconciliation Week this year is ‘More than a word: Reconciliation takes action’, and our second Reconciliation Action Plan entitled ‘Innovate’ outlines the actions we will take over a two-year period.”
“We envision a community where greater equality is experienced by all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and one where we can all walk together to champion new opportunities and celebrate success.
“The City of Kwinana enjoys a higher proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living locally with 3.6 per cent of the population, or about 1405 people, identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders according to the latest available Census statistics – higher than the Perth average of 1.8 per cent.”
“The annual flag raising event arose from our first Reconciliation Action Plan to build relationships through celebrating and supporting National Reconciliation Week.”
Students from Gilmore College and Peter Carnley Anglican Community School raised four flags out the front of the Council Administration Building, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
Community leader Barry Winmar played the didgeridoo while the Koya group performed a combination of dances symbolising sweeping to cleanse the area and bring good spirits, the collection of food, and the Djiti Djiti (Willie Wagtail).
For more about the City of Kwinana’s reconciliation plans from November 2020 to November 2022, please visit the Innovate RAP.