Aboriginal cemetery plaque backs new shire reconciliation plan
Noongar Kaartdijin Aboriginal Corporation
WE ARE working closely with the Shire of Toodyay to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan as part of a formal statement of local government commitment to reconciliation with local Aboriginal people.
It coincides with our plans to more publicly recognise the site of an Aboriginal Cemetery behind the Showgrounds grandstand (see map above) where about 100 people were buried over a period of 80 years.Read more
For Aboriginal peoples – including in Toodyay – Australia’s colonial history was characterised by devastating land dispossession, violence, and racism.
Over the last half-century, however, many significant steps towards reconciliation have been taken, including locally.
Developing a shire reconciliation action plan is part of that ongoing journey.
Corporation chairperson Robert Miles said he was very encouraged by recent talks with the shire about developing a practical action plan built on relationships, respect and opportunities.
In other news, the corporation is working closely with the shire to install a plaque to commemorate a State-registered Aboriginal burial site behind the historic Toodyay Showgrounds grandstand.
It was used as a hockey pitch from 1979 until 2013, when the shire was informed by the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council that the site had been gazetted since 1916 as an Aboriginal Cemetery.
An older plaque hidden in nearby trees is not visible from the burial site, which was cordoned off by a line of large rocks in 2013 when hockey playing stopped.
We are progressing well with this project, which will in future include other nearby cultural facilities, and hope the new plaque will be installed in time to be celebrated, along with the shire’s new reconciliation action plan, during National Reconciliation Week which runs from May 27 to June 3.