RECONCILIATION WEEK will kickstart a series of year-round events in Melville and won’t be a token gesture to the Aboriginal community, says mayor George Gear.
Mr Gear says after Reconciliation Week (May 27-June 3) the public will be able to attend monthly talks about reconciliation with councillor Karen Wheatland and the city’s first nations advisor Leanne Woods, and they’ll be a weekly children’s program introducing Noongar language and engaging kids’ imaginations with traditional storytelling.
“We are acutely aware that the act of reconciliation is something that should be happening year-round, so we’re really pleased to have such a comprehensive program for the week which will really lay the foundations for other programs we initiate as a city,” Mr Gear says.
During Reconciliation Week the city will be holding its popular Nyin, Ni, Koorliny (Sit, Listen, Walk) on Sunday May 29 at Dyoondalup Point Walter, where attendees can ni (listen) to the stories of elders and koorliny (walk) with them along the bidi (paths) from Kwoppa Kepa to Jennalup, as they ponder what can be done to achieve reconciliation.
Indigenous storyteller Shaun Nannup will be hosting an evening of Noongar stories on the banks of the bilya (river) at Goolugatup Heathcote, where attendees can enjoy yongka
(kangaroo) stew and damper as they sit around the fire and listen to tales of this boodja (country).
“In 2021 it was great to see the turnout for the event – it was the first year we had incorporated the concept of sitting, listening and walking as part of Reconciliation Week and the support from the entire community was quite incredible,” Ms Woods says.
‘The residents of Melville are really aware of and engaged with these types of programs, so it’s really exciting to be able to bring it back for a second year – the registrations so far have been above and beyond what we expected, so we’re looking forward to sharing stories and reflecting on reconciliation with the wider community again in a few weeks.”
Mr Gear says the city has really embraced this year’s Reconciliation Week theme – ‘Be Brave. Make Change’.
”We have a wonderful first nations engagement advisor in Leanne Woods, but this year we saw other staff members come forward, offer their time and really set the tone for Reconciliation Week and the work we do as a city,” Mr Gear says.
For more info on Reconciliation Week events in Melville see melvillecity.com. au/nrw
by STEPHEN POLLOCK