Busselton hosting its first Reconciliation Walk in 2022 is a reminder that reconciliation is still a significant ongoing journey.
The walk, which had a sizable turnout, was initiated only in May last year after Elders spoke out to the Busselton City Council.
Despite the City’s Reconciliation Action Plan kicking off in July 2020, the Council did not plan to participate in the nation-wide movement, partly because they did not expect a significant turnout.
Mayor Grant Henley stood alongside Elder Gloria Hill during the Welcome to Country.
“We definitely did not expect so many of you to be here,” Mayor Henley said.
“Hopefully next year we can extend the walk even further”.
Several local school representatives and teachers, as well as Busselton shop workers and police attended the walk.
The walk ended at Barnard Park where local Aboriginal business Pindari provided walkers a chance to share a light lunch.
Australia’s first ever walk was held in Sydney, way back in 2000, which saw over 250,000 people from varying backgrounds walk over the Sydney Harbour Bridge for Reconciliation Week.
National Reconciliation Week commemorates two key advances towards reconciling.
The first, on May 27 1967, saw Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples be included in the census to allow the Commonwealth to create laws for them.
Over 90% of Australian votes saw this referendum pass.
The second was the Mabo High Court judgement on 3 June 1992, which recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ pre-invading entitlements as Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land.