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Boola Maara heralds new era for Kwinana

Boola Maara heralds new era for Kwinana
2 July 2024

Boola Maara gathered for its first meeting as an Aboriginal Consultative Committee on 1 July, following a Council decision last May to elevate the Boola Maara from an advisory group.

 

Caption: (left to right) Boola Maara Aboriginal Consultative Committee members deputy chair Paul Garlett, Lisa Garlett, chair and Deputy Mayor Barry Winmar, Marie Walley, Doris Getta, Cr Matthew Rowse, and Cindy Ballard.

The City of Kwinana’s Boola Maara (Many Hands) Aboriginal Consultative Committee, believed to be the only one of its kind in WA, met for the first time yesterday.

The Boola Maara Aboriginal Consultative Committee formed following a decision by Council in May last year to elevate the Boola Maara Advisory Group to a consultative committee under Council’s Standing Orders.

The consultative committee’s first meeting in Council Chambers yesterday heard a presentation on the planned upgrades for the Kwinana Loop Trail; and receive reports on Aboriginal Cultural Protocol Guidelines, two leases, and an upcoming Summer Sounds Leda event.

The new consultative committee includes two Council representatives, Deputy Mayor Barry Winmar and Cr Matthew Rowse; and members of the Nyoongar community in Kwinana including Doris Getta, Cindy Ballard, Marianne Mackay Headland, Paul Garlett, Lisa Garlett and Marie Walley.

Cr Winmar was yesterday appointed by the consultative committee to the role of chair, and Paul Garlett to deputy chair.

“The establishment of this Consultative Committee is a testament to the strength, resilience, and enduring spirit of our people,” Cr Winmar said.

“It symbolises a commitment to ensuring that our voices are heard and valued in the decisions that shape the future of Kwinana.

“We stand together ready to embark on a path that honours our past, celebrates our present, and builds a promising future for our children and grandchildren.

“I am profoundly grateful for the trust and dedication of Council and together, we will strive to make meaningful change that reflect the needs and aspirations of our community," he said.

Mayor Peter Feasey said Council was proud to elevate the group to the level of consultative committee.

“As an advisory group, the Boola Maara provided support, guidance on monitoring of the City’s Reconciliation Action Plan and other matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 2018,” Mayor Feasey said.

“But as a consultative committee, Boola Maara will now provide input into policy development, planning and advice to Council across all areas where there is likely to be an impact on Aboriginal people and the local community.

“According to Census data, the City of Kwinana has the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Perth Metropolitan Area, at 4.4 per cent, so it is important to us to have guidance on how services, planning and events can be undertaken in a culturally respectful way,” he said.

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