Let's celebrate Reconciliation Week: 27 May - 3 June

Published on 07 May 2024

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National Reconciliation Week - which runs from 27 May to 3 June every year - is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

National Reconciliation Week coincides with two significant dates in Australia's history:

  • 27 May - marks the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum which chose to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution which discriminated against Aboriginal people.
  • 3 June - marks the anniversary of the High Court of Australia's judgement in the Mabo case, which legally recognised that Indigenous people had a special relationship to the land.

Welcome to Country

Woollahra Council acknowledges that the first people of this area are the Aboriginal people of the Eora Nation. Council is committed to working together with all members of the community to support reconciliation and encourage acceptance and respect for a diverse range of cultures.

Ray Ingrey, Chairperson of the Gujaga Foundation, explains the significance of Welcome to Country and showcases a traditional Aboriginal dance performed by the Gamay Dancers.

2024 Reconciliation Week Theme

The National Reconciliation Week theme for 2024, Now More Than Ever, is a reminder to all of us that no matter what, the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will - and must - continue.

There have been many moments in Australia’s reconciliation journey that make us want to turn away. But when things are divisive, the worst thing we can do is disengage or disconnect. Now more than ever, we need reconciliation.

Reconciliation Week events


Learn about the Dharawal language with the Gujaga Foundation and the Gujaga App

Did you know the word “Naggangbi” means “Hello” in the Dharawal language (the language spoken by the traditional owners of Coastal Sydney).

Discover more about our local Aboriginal culture by downloading the Gujaga App.

We have been offering Dharawal language classes at Woollahra Preschool, to give children the opportunity to learn the Dharawal language and their feedback and enthusiasm has been fantastic.

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Dharawal language classes at Woollahra Preschool

Our visit to IndigiGrow

Council staff and Bushcare volunteers headed out to IndigiGrow in La Perouse to hear about their work.

Indigigrow is a social enterprise that sustains Indigenous people and culture through the propagation of native plants, including bush foods and endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub.

The idea is to give local Aboriginal people employment and education opportunities; preserve traditional knowledge; and promote sustainability and biodiversity. It’s great for us as a Council, because we can source native plants for our parks and reserves from an organisation that cares about the area, its history and its people. They also run a retail nursery, and it’s a great place to get your own plants.

"Everyone has a role in preserving endemic species," says founder Peter Cooley. "That might be as simple as planting a native plant in your garden or on your balcony."

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IndigiGrow Founder, Pete Cooley

Don't Miss this upcoming Woollahra Gallery Exhibition

We are excited to be exhibiting the work of Muruwari artist Dr. Virginia Keft at the Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf.

The exhibition is called Pinampi (listen to remember)  and it is scheduled to open Wednesday 19 June until Sunday 21 July. Entry is free.

Dr. Virginia Keft is a Murriwarri Woman; artist, performer, and researcher. Virginia lives and works on Dharawal and Gadigal Country. Her practice includes painting, drawing, weaving, sculpture and sound art. Her work is a powerful statement on the resilience of tradition, the persistence of cultural memory, and the strength of Aboriginal identity. Her work celebrates connections to place, community, and language. Weaving features in her practice, physically and symbolically. Language is woven into the works - in letter, sound, symbol, line and pattern, reflecting its scattered but persisting presence.

Find out more about current and upcoming exhibitions at the Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf.

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Virginia Keft - matjam yapinj yapin tja (Flying Fox in the Spring) 2023 raffia found eucalyptus wood wire

Woollahra Aboriginal Heritage Study and our Reconciliation Action Plan

As part of ongoing commitment to reconciliation we’re working with Reconciliation Australia on a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for Council. In 2022, we adopted the Woollahra Aboriginal Heritage Study in consultation with the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council.

The final Reflect Reconciliation Plan is now available. Read the plan here.(PDF, 3MB)

The next step in Council's reconciliation journey is the development of the Innovate RAP, which outlines actions for achieving Council's vision for reconciliation.

Innovate RAP commitments will allow Council to gain a deeper understanding of our sphere of influence, and establish the best approaches to advance reconciliation. An Innovate RAP focuses on strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and piloting strategies for further reconciliation commitments and to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Council has commenced discussions with our cultural partners, the La Perouse LALC and the Gujaga Foundation to develop the new Innovate RAP.

Visit our Stingray at Woollahra Council Customer Service Centre

Next time you are in the Woollahra area, be sure to pop by the Woollahra Council Customer Service Centre to admire our Nawarlah (Stingray) 2022 artwork by indigenous artist Philomena Namundja. The artwork was purchased by Council during the Heart in Art exhibition in June/July 2022 held at the Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf.

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Philomena Namundja - Nawarlah (Stingray) 2022